“The steps of good men are directed by the Lord. He delights in each step
they take. If they fall, it isn’t fatal, for the Lord holds them with his hand.”
Psalm 37:23,24 Living Bible
I don’t know of anyone who hasn’t experienced failure in some place and time in their life. Who hasn’t played “Musical Chairs” and been caught sitting on the floor when all the chairs are filled?
God knows our propensity to fall at times. The Psalmist said: “ … for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.” Psalm 103:14 NIV The Hebrew word translated as ‘formed’ or ‘framed’ also in other places is rendered: “to be in distress” or “to be frustrated.”
In other words, God knows how we’re made since He made us. And He appears to be sympathetic to our difficulties. He’s not angry at us because of them! So let’s take the opening verse apart and see how it addresses our falls and failures.
#1. Godly men have their steps directed by the Lord and when the steps are followed it brings Him much delight.
If we weren’t dealing daily with the pull of sin all around us, we’d never take a ‘mis-step’ and that would be the end of this story. But we do fail to follow the directions and God’s steps. And the delight God gets from our journey is temporarily put on hold.
#2 But if and when we fall, it isn’t fatal.
God doesn’t erase our name from the Book of Life. We’re still his child. Our future is secure. As someone once told me, “Where there is sin God must punish, but where there is repentance God must forgive.” What a huge relief that is!
#3 Through the entire fall God holds us with his hand.
Not only does He hold us, but through every circumstance of life He is also teaching us. There are powerful lessons to be learned when we’ve tripped or fallen flat on our faces. Here’s where success comes out of adversity and failure – learn the lesson He is teaching and forget the details. Don’t spend unnecessary time overplaying every tiny and disappointing point of the fall. Build on the experience and move ahead toward the future God has prepared for you.
Remember Paul’s great words of encouragement in Philippians 1:6 from the Passion Translation:
“I pray with great faith for you, because I’m fully convinced that the One who began
this glorious work in you will faithfully continue the process of maturing you and will put
his finishing touches to it until the unveiling of our Lord Jesus Christ!”