Devotional | Shannon Powell | Feb 4, 2024

Failed Goals Turned New Praises

Failed Goals Turned New Praises

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:3-6


Every year as January passes, I tend to start thinking about what goals I had made for the new year that have already been disrupted. Things like the busyness of being a parent, the stress that can come with a new year at work, and so many other things can get in the way of the goals you set for yourself just one month ago. I tend to be disappointed in myself for things I was hoping to accomplish in that first month if they don't go as I planned.

The truth is, we are always going to fail or fall short. Even when the goals seem easy to do. Something I tried last year when I saw my unchecked list of goals was to think of the things that hindered getting those goals accomplished. When I started thinking through that, I realized the things I was seeing as hindrances are really gifts I’ve been given from the Lord. They are things like taking my daughter to dinner for her birthday, spending time with family, playing with my sons and the new toys they had gotten for Christmas, and the list goes on. All of that time together is a gift from God, but I have to choose to see it as a gift instead of something that hindered a small goal I had made for myself. 

This brought to mind Proverbs 3:3-6. Specifically the part that says “lean not on your own understanding … he will make your paths straight.” You may have this grand plan for your life or even small yearly goals that don’t go according to the plan you made for yourself. Sometimes, that can be really hard to get over. But, as it says in Proverbs, God will make “your paths straight.” So now when I’m getting down on myself about these missed goals, I try to remember this is a path I created for myself, and it may not line up with the path God has for me and that's okay! It’s better than okay because God can write a story much better than I ever could. 

I praise God for the time I have with my family and the time I get to serve his kingdom in doing his work. I enjoy looking back on the things that seemed life-altering in the past and seeing how he has delivered me into a better path than I could have hoped for. Sometimes it takes seeing things in hindsight and intentionally asking, “How is God using this?” before you can see how God worked through the hard situations you might have gone through. I want to challenge you to change how you see things you normally see as a negative. Try to put on the lens of God and view how he could use a difficulty or failed goal in your life to better his kingdom. 


Lord, renew my faith through your Word this year. Help me remember the fresh start you have given us through your life, death, and resurrection. Thank you for the sacrifice you made for all people. Thank you for continuing to use us even when we fail and fall short. It's in your name I pray, Amen. 

Shannon Powell
Communications Administrative Assistant 


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