JOHN MARK, A DESERTER
John Mark went with Paul and Barnabas as a helper in the first missionary journey (Acts 13:5). He was with them through the land of Cyprus. While on the island of Cyprus, he experienced spiritual warfare and the challenges of traveling. As a result, after sailing from Cyprus to Perga, Pamphylia, John Mark left Paul and Barnabas and returned to Jerusalem (Acts 13:13). (First Missionary Journey map). The journey was too much for John Mark to handle, so he deserted them. Paul and Barnabas continued the journey and experienced more hardship and persecution, and Paul never forgot what John Mark did. Consequently, when Barnabas wanted to take John Mark on their second missionary journey, Paul was against it (Acts 15:36-41).
It must have been very discouraging or perhaps embarrassing for John Mark when he failed to follow through on his commitment. However, John Mark used this failure to make him stronger. He didn't give up on himself, but he used his failure as an important lesson in his life. Sometimes, our failure becomes our greatest asset because it is through failure that we understand our weaknesses, and when we understand our weaknesses, we can work on them to make us better people. When Barnabas gave him another chance to go on a missionary journey, he took advantage of the opportunity to prove himself, and this time, he was a new person. He was more mature than before. He knew what to expect and was ready to face whatever challenges he encountered. Later in his life, God used him to write the gospel of Mark and became a good companion to Paul (2 Timothy 4:11).
Our God is a God of restoration. When we fail in life, it is not the end of us because God will never give up on making us the person He wants us to be. He promised that He would finish the good work that He started in us (Philippians 1:6). Let us not dwell in our failures but confess our sins to God, ask for forgiveness, receive His forgiveness, set our eyes on Jesus, and keep on trusting, following, serving, worshipping our Lord Jesus, and everything else will fall into its place. God can use our failure to make us stronger and wiser. Let us remember that all of us fail, but what we do after we fail will determine our maturity in life.
Ask yourself these questions for application: (Think through carefully and meditate on the questions while answering them, and let the Spirit of God speak to you) Do I dwell in my past failures? What is the promise of God in my life? What should I do when I fail?
Write down all the worries you face today and lift them up to God.
Father in Heaven, thank you that you are greater than my failures. I praise you and glorify your name because you never give up on me, no matter how I messed up in life. Forgive me for my sins, and please help me to learn from my failures and not to dwell in them. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.