INCISIVE QUESTIONS                                                  Ecclesiastes 7:21-29

“I applied mine heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness:” (v25)

The first thing we do whenever we have failed, is to explore the reason for the failure. These are some of the questions we might ask ourselves, have I contributed in any way to this issue by inattention to detail, lack of preparation, naivety, wrong timing, failure to weigh up the pros and cons, disregard of personal integrity, or insensitivity to other people’s feelings?

We might also ask: what does God want me to learn from this failure? It is extremely difficult of course, to sit down and question yourself like this when failure floods in. but as the disappointments subsides, as soon as possible after the event, try to work out what can be learned by honestly facing your emotions – emotions such as hurt, anger and anxiety. Remember, when you stop learning you stop living.

If a failure occurs through no fault of your own, is God wanting to draw your attention to a purpose He may have for you that may take you in another direction? I have mentioned before how I failed a test to become an engine driver when I was eighteen. At that time I was simply crazy about steam engines, so when the news was conveyed to me, I was devastated. But if I had become an engine driver, would I have wanted to become a preacher? I don’t know but my guess is probably ‘No.!’ God was in that failure. I am perfectly sure.

PRAYER LINE: Father, help me face my failures in the knowledge that some good can come from even the most difficult circumstances. Help me to be brave in my questions and to hear and receive Your perceptive, grace-filled answers, in Jesus’ Name. Amen (EDWJ)


When we can’t see God’s hand we can trust His heart.

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