Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Down But Not Out

In handling our failures it is necessary that we recognize that failures can prepare the way for true success.

No life illustrates this better than Abraham Lincoln.
Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of The United States of America by Mathew Brady
Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of The United States of America

A list of Lincoln's failures and disappointments reads:

Lost his job -- 1832
Defeated for legislature -- 1832
Failed in business -- 1833
Elected to Legislature -- 1834
Sweetheart died -- 1835
Had nervous breakdown -- 1836
Defeated for Speaker -- 1838
Defeated for nomination for Congress -- 1843
Elected to Congress -- 1846
Lost Renomination -- 1848
Rejected for Land Officer -- 1849
Defeated for Senate -- 1854
Defeated for Nomination for Vice President -- 1856
Again defeated for Senate -- 1858
Elected President -- 1860

In the light of this listing of failures it is apparent that the saving and redemptive feature of Lincoln's live was his unswerving faith that God had something or him to do.

Our God is the God of the second chance.
God never writes us off when, with honest obedience,
we seek to live our lives.
There is no such thing to the obedient Christian as being
"down and out."

It is helpful to note that our Lord himself failed.

  • He did not win Judas.
  • He did not dissuade the judges.
  • He had few friends.
But look at the issue today.

At the time our Lord lived the most objective historian would have judged him an abject failure. But today, wherever the sun rises and sets, there are millions of people who call Jesus Lord.


A person needs spiritual eyesight so as not to judge success and failure by the appearance of the moment.

Rather, let the person be true to the principles, to the teachings and way of the living Christ. And, if by such faithfulness at a given moment, it appears that failure is the verdict, let our faith stabilize us by reminding us that no man who is good, no man who is obedient to Christ, ever fails.

Let us so think, so work, and so act that no matter what the human verdict may be,
we may have ringing in our ears the words of our Lord Jesus Christ,
"Well done, thou good and faithful servant."

Homecoming by Danny Hahlbohm

courtesy of all posters
j.herbert Gilmore, jr
Devotions for the home



Adrienne said...

Hi Mimi -
Good post today. I love that picture of The Homecoming. Right after my dear dad went to be with Jesus someone emailed it to me. It was such a comfort to realize that when he left the boundaries of this life he was welcomed by the Father he loved and served. What a comfort!

Me said...

Often success is the sum of our failures - it is so easy to forget...

Tracy said...

What a wonderful post. Thank you for the reminder that even though we might fail, we need to continue to keep our eyes where it is most important, and remember God has a plan for us.

Blessings Mimi

nannykim said...

Oh, hey, I see you like David Nevue--on your music stuff. I love his music and plan to get some for Christmas!!

jennifer said...

This is so powerful. I just heard something about Abraham Lincoln today. Seems that I am meant to learn things from him today... or more so that the Lord is using him to teach me.

Be blessed.


Mary Isabella and Kiley too! said...

I love every word...m..

Cathy said...

A very encouraging, beautiful post, Mimi~ And your decorations are lovely.

Barbara said...

Great post! So many people give up too easily,but not Lincoln!

This sentence caught my eye: "A person needs spiritual eyesight so as not to judge success and failure by the appearance of the moment."

I immediately thought of President Bush and how much he's done for our country,although his popularity is at an all time low. So many people consider him a terrible president. But I feel he's going to be a favorite of the historians and he's going to turn out to be a very popular president in years to come.