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DTS Devotional

When You Fail

Author: Robert P. Lightner
Week of November 22, 2015
Psalm 60:1-5

David wrote Psalm 60 to teach others lessons he had learned. He experienced failure and defeat, and he wanted others to know how to avoid them. In the first five verses of Psalm 60, David lamented about a failure he and his warriors had experienced.

The enemies of God and His people had invaded the land. There was a crisis. As soon as David heard about it, he went to God in prayer. That was the right thing to do, and what a beautiful example it is for all God’s people who face crises and failures in their lives. The psalmist was terribly confused and bewildered over what had happened. He knew that for some reason God was dealing with him and His people. Was this the chastening hand of God? Apparently so, though that is not always the case when failure strikes.

David used descriptive language in his confession and cry for help. “You have rejected us...You have been angry” (v. 1). Something had greatly displeased God; He had turned His back and allowed His people to experience failure. Apparently something had taken David’s eyes off the Lord. The face of God was turned away from David and he knew it. He also knew victory was impossible without God’s favor.

David likened the calamity that had fallen on the people of God to an earthquake and to a person who staggers aimlessly, not knowing where he is going (vv. 2-3). David prayed that God would restore His favor to His people. Quickly God assured David that He had heard his cry. God was still Israel’s banner. He had pledged Himself and He would not go back on His promise. David was assured of victory at the very time he prayed for forgiveness. Prayer provided a beautiful balm for his troubled soul. It brought assurance and hope.

A good idea: When you fail, when you experience defeat, do what David did. First, try to determine why God allowed you to fail. Second, remember that God has pledged Himself to you. All He allows to come into the lives of His children is for our good and from His loving hand. Through prayer the failure can be turned into a fortress against future failure.