God Has Never Made a Wasted Effort - The Warrior's Journey®

God Has Never Made a Wasted Effort

Author: Chaplain, COL Scott McChrystal, USA (Ret.)

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“I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” (Galatians 2:21) 

History has given us many examples of costly wasted efforts. For instance, in 1689 King William of Scotland invested one fourth of the Scottish GDP (the equivalent of $83 million) on a failed attempt to establish the colony of Caledonia in Central America. The effort was a total failure. It took the lives of over 2,000 Scotts and ultimately forced Scotland to join their old enemy England and become part of Great Britain. 

The 13,000-mile Great Wall of China makes for an awesome monument. At least there’s something to show for the 400,000 lives that were lost in its construction and its estimated $350 billion price tag. Yet it was completely ineffective in its purpose – to keep the invading Mongol hordes out of China. The Mongols simply bribed the guards and passed through its gates. 

Shortly after the coronation of King George V in 1911, the UK spent the equivalent of $700 million on its celebration in India. The event, called the Dehli Durbar, was a public relations disaster and generated ill-will between the two nations that lasted for generations. 

King Philip of Spain spent the equivalent of $850 million in 1588 to build, man, and equip the 130 ships of the Armada. But any price was worth the effort to overthrow the Protestant monarch, Elizabeth I. The expedition was a catastrophic failure. Half of Spain’s ships were lost, 20,000 men died, and not a single gain was achieved in the effort. 

But does God have any costly, wasted, and completely unnecessary endeavors to His credit? No, not one. You see, God has the advantage of absolute omniscience and foresight. He knows all things and sees the future as vividly as the present. Therefore, the decisions He makes are always perfect, successful, and absolutely essential. Therefore, we can rest assured that the most costly endeavor of all time – God’s decision to send Jesus to bear the sin of humanity and suffer divine wrath in our place, was the only way we could be saved. No amount of human effort, no matter how costly, could ever redeem us. Only Jesus Christ, and He alone, can save us. 


  • Is there any possibility that Jesus’ atonement is inadequate to save? 
  • Jesus freely gives us God’s righteousness. Can we improve upon that? 
  • If Jesus began this miraculous work, does He expect us to complete it? 

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