Pastor Shane Ham : When You’ve Failed

RISE · 45:56 · Recorded March 22, 2020

When You’ve Failed

Psalm 32:7-11 (TLB) You are my hiding place from every storm of life; you even keep me from getting into trouble! You surround me with songs of victory. I will instruct you (says the Lord) and guide you along the best pathway for your life; I will advise you and watch your progress. Don’t be like a senseless horse or mule that has to have a bit in its mouth to keep it in line! Many sorrows come to the wicked, but abiding love surrounds those who trust in the Lord. So rejoice in him, all those who are his, and shout for joy, all those who try to obey him.

1. Face it courageously.

Psalm 32:1-2 (TLB) What happiness for those whose guilt has been forgiven! What joys when sins are covered over! What relief for those who have confessed their sins and God has cleared their record.

You won’t get real relief until you get really honest!

Psalm 32:3-4 (TLB) There was a time when I wouldn’t admit what a sinner I was. But my dishonesty made me miserable and filled my days with frustration. All day and all night your hand was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water on a sunny day.

We diminish it.

Isaiah 5:20 (NLT) What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.

We disguise it.

Mark 11:12-14 (TLB) The next morning as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. He noticed a fig tree in full leaf a little way off, so he went over to see if he could find any figs. But there were only leaves because it was too early in the season for fruit. Then Jesus said to the tree, “May no one ever eat your fruit again!” And the disciples heard him say it.

We delay it.

Proverbs 28:13 (TEV) You will never succeed in life if you try to hide your sins. Confess them and give them up; then God will show mercy to you.

2. Examine it thoroughly.

3. Express it openly.

Psalm 32:5-6 (TLB) …Until I finally admitted all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide them. I said to myself, “I will confess them to the Lord.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. Now I say that each believer should confess his sins to God when he is aware of them, while there is time to be forgiven. Judgment will not touch him if he does.

4. Grow from it expectantly.

Isaiah 61:3-4 (TLB) To all who mourn in Israel he will give: beauty for ashes; joy instead of mourning; praise instead of heaviness…And they shall rebuild the ancient ruins, repairing cities long ago destroyed.

God wants to clean your conscience.

Isaiah 1:18 (TLB) “Come, let’s talk this over!” says the Lord; “No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can take it out and make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you white as wool!”

Jeremiah 31:34 (NIV) …“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

God wants to change your character.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

New disposition.

New outlook.

New cravings & desires.

New sense of security.

2 Corinthians 5:18-19 (NIV) All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them…

New life’s mission.

2 Corinthians 5:19-21 (NIV) …And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

5. Release it completely.

Isaiah 43:17-21 (GW) …This is what the Lord says: Forget what happened in the past, and do not dwell on events from long ago. I am going to do something new. It is already happening. Don’t you recognize it? I will clear a way in the desert. I will make rivers on dry land. Wild animals, jackals, and ostriches will honor me. I will provide water in the desert. I will make rivers on the dry land for my chosen people to drink. I have formed these people for myself. They will praise me.

  • Identify what you consider a “failure” in your life. Thinking about that situation, do you feel you stepped through the five actions Shane talked about? Some of them? Which was most difficult for you?

  • Has there been a time when you found yourself unable or unwilling to confess to God? Did you feel better once you’d poured your heart out to God? How does Isaiah 1:18 reassure you? Is there something in your life you need to confess today? Don’t wait! Don’t let pride or ego or fear or shame get in your way. Lay it all out before God and experience the happiness of those whose guilt has been forgiven!

  • When you read in 1 Corinthians 5:17-21 that you have been made new in Christ, what newness are you most grateful for? That you no longer desire things that are harmful to you? That you view life differently? That your interactions with others are new? Examine the “before and after” in your life and thank God for his gift of newness.

  • Point number five is especially important and should not be missed. God has forgiven you. Have you forgiven yourself and let it go? God promises to forget our sin and his promise can be trusted. He tells us to forget what came before – once you confess and repent, you’re done! Walk in a new way, having learned from your past, but not living in your past.

  • Reread Psalm 32:7-11. Spend time in prayer thanking God for being your hiding place, for keeping you from trouble, for instructing and guiding you. Give him praise that because you are his and you trust in him, you are surrounded by his abiding love!

  • Hey Parents, we have a plan for you and your kids as well. Check out the information at our kid’s page at northpointe.org/kids where you’ll find info on Sunday services and family resources as we navigate through this current season.