"But though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again, but the wicked are brought down by calamity." -Proverbs 24:16
Have people ever let you down? If you're dealing with human beings, in ministry or in business, or anywhere for that matter, it's likely they will!
But what do we do when people mess up? Do we tell them there's no hope, that God is angry with them, or do we tell them that God is a God of second chances, waiting with open arms for us to run back to Him when we repent? The second picture is the more accurate one.
Peter was in the garden with Jesus. Jesus told him he would deny him three times before the rooster crowed. Peter didn't believe he would do it. 'I will never deny you,' he said. And yet, when he was asked by Roman soldiers if he knew Jesus, he denied it three times.(John 18:27) But even after all of that Jesus still said to him, 'You are Simon Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church." (Matthew 16:18)
As Christians, we need to realize that God is cheering us on. He loves it when we lead a life that's pleasing to Him. And He knows it can be difficult sometimes. We need to believe in others like He believes in us. People WILL let us down, there is no doubt about it. But there is always hope in God, He is the hope of the world! We need to place our faith and trust for the outcome of their lives in His hands, and learn to see them as He sees them.
If you're like a lot of people, even you have let you down. But we need to learn to dust ourselves off and get back up, and try again. The Bible says the righteous fall 7 times, but they get back up. Are you getting up from whatever it is you're encountering, or are you staying on the ground? We can't let ourselves or others fall into the trap that there is no grace, no hope. As long as we're alive we have the ability to turn things around.
Is there someone you need to forgive and believe in again? Do you need to forgive yourself? May we all receive the grace necessary for our journeys, and give it to others who need someone to believe in them. If the church doesn't believe in people, who will?
Related resource: Everybody, Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People, by Bob Goff