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Facing a Crisis; Dealing with Failure

Today’s reading: Genesis 25-26; Matthew 9:1-17

How do you face a crisis? How do you handle failure, sin, and guilt?

Isaac faced a crisis, a famine, to be precise. He considered immigrating to Egypt, but God appeared to him and reassured him of His presence and provision. Isaac rested upon God’s promises and stayed in the land. Isaac’s faith honored God and kept him from a bad decision.

Esau faced a crisis or two. He came home starved from his hunting trip. He gave in to his hunger and sold his birthright for Jacob’s delicious stew. Later, Esau wanted a wife. He married a local pagan woman rather than follow the family tradition of marrying within their clan. Esau could not tolerate any delay in the gratification of his physical needs in order to make wise and godly decisions. In both of these cases, his choices had devastating consequences for him and his family.

I admire Isaac’s faith and am repulsed by Esau’s undisciplined appetites, but it is easier for me to be more like Esau than Isaac. I do not consistently resist temptation and sin. I do not consistently choose to trust God and to endure whatever difficulty may come without complaining or choosing the path of least resistance

Yet Jesus gives me hope.

He was observed eating with tax collectors and sinners, the low life of society. When questioned about this, He replied: “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

I fail. I sin. But Jesus Christ came for sinners like me. He came to call us, sinners, to repentance.  He came to heal us.  How do you deal with a crisis or the failure to deal with it well? Don’t be like Esau who failed to obtain the grace of God (Hebrews 12:14-17).  Seek to face a crisis with faith. When you fail, and you will, repent, confess sin and find forgiveness from Christ. Get up, press on.

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