How to Fight When You Fail

Desiring God | 6/19/2019 | David Sunday
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I’m not writing for those who think they’ve got little sin problems. If you imagine you’re getting an A-, or at least a C+, in self-sanctification, you probably won’t resonate with what I’m saying.

I’m writing for the Christian who’s reading this a few hours after you’ve fallen sexually. I’m thinking of the deacon who has just exploded in anger at his children. Or the campus ministry leader who went to college with every intention of following Jesus, but is now waking up with a hangover and can’t remember what she did the night before. I’m writing for the pastor who told a lie in last night’s elder meeting. Or the Bible study leader who became Peter-the-Denier when her upper-class neighbor asked her if she really thinks that everyone who does not believe in Jesus Christ will go to ****.

Sin - Failures - Despair

For all who are weary of struggling with sin, I want you to be able to face your most disappointing failures without drowning in despair.

Let me tell you about gutsy guilt. John Piper first introduced me to this idea — and his teaching on this has sustained and strengthened me for over a quarter of a century of being “tempted, tried, and sometimes failing.” Piper found an example of “gutsy guilt, bold brokenness, confident contrition, rugged remorse” in the words of the prophet Micah, who teaches us how to fight when we have fallen.

Lord

But as for me, I will look to the Lord;

I will wait for the God of my salvation;

God

my God will hear me.

Rejoice not over me, O my enemy;

when I fall, I shall rise;

the Lord will be a light to me.

Judgment

and executes judgment for me.

He will bring me out to the light;

Vindication

I shall look upon his vindication.

“Where is the Lord your God?”

Eyes

My eyes will look upon her;

It seems counterintuitive to...
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