Pass the Tests of Failure and Disappointment

The Holiness of the Here and Now – Part 90

“And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works.”

–Revelation 2:23 (ESV)

Whatever happens to you, and must happen, according to his order, it is enough for him that you desire it. He hears your readiness.

–Jean Pierre de Caussade

The implication of Jesus’s words in Revelation 2:23 is this: he is able to justly give to us according to our works because he searches our minds and hearts. Without this power, our works cannot properly be evaluated. God sees everything you do right down to the moment the action was birthed in your heart. In Jean Pierre de Caussade’s words, “he hears your readiness.” He knows the attitude of your heart, and what your heart was aiming at when it shot forth those works like arrows. But not every arrow hits its target; not all our efforts succeed. You might think you know what you were aiming at, but you will have to entrust the final judgment to God. Do not even presume that you can at least search your own heart and mind. You cannot see what God sees, so you are not a perfect judge.

But there is something that will reveal your own heart to you with remarkable clarity. It is your reaction when things do not go your way, or even what you thought was God’s way. The readiness to accept the divine order in your life means readiness to accept your failed efforts, with all that they reveal about you.

You are not truly submitted to the will of God until you can submit to disappointment. And without the grace to accept your failures, where will you get the grace to accept your successes?


The Holiness of the Here and Now is a daily devotional that I am currently working on. When I am finished, there will be 365 chapters like the one above. Meanwhile, I am sharing this work-in-progress. Like the Facebook page to see content like this in your feed.