Abundant Life Episode 30
In this episode Saso and Ben discuss the topic of failure.
FA’ILURE, noun fa’ilyur.
A failing; deficience; cessation of supply, or total defect; as the failure of springs or streams; failure of rain; failure of crops.
Omission; non-performance; as the failure of a promise; a man’s failure in the execution of a trust.
January 17 is the typical day where New Year’s resolutions are broken. That is a total of 17 days after they have started. It does not take long for the ambition of yesterday to become the failure of today. We all come to a point in our lives where we do not add up to the standards of others and to the standards, we set for ourselves.
Have you ever failed at something in your life? Well, you are in good company.
If we are honest it’s not fun to fail and if we are honest sometimes it hurts. It’s like they say death and taxes are inevitable, but failure is also inevitable.
The bible also tells us to expect trouble.
It’s not a matter if failure will happen, it’s a matter of when.
How do you look at failure?
Do you see failure as a negative thing?
Does failure define who you are?
Do you see failure as an opportunity to grow and learn?
Success is a pile of failure that you are standing on. –Dave Ramsey
I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. – Michael Jordan
For Christians, failure is a negative response to our trials and testing. Sometimes we call these sanctification tests. We get presented with a set of circumstances and then we must chose how to respond. At times we pass the test and other times we do not pass the test. As you mature as a Christian, we hope that there are more wins than losses.
The Christian life is about your sanctification and how over time you are changed into the image of Christ. It’s about the journey and what you learn, and how you mature as a Christian and it’s often times of testing and trial that we have opportunity to grow as Christians.
Interestingly, the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. If you were to take a straight shot from Egypt to the promised land, they likely could have made it there in under 5 years. But God was trying to teach them to depend on Him, to trust Him to obey Him. Some learned and grew in that fashion and others did not.
Examples of failure from scripture
Moses sister Miriam had died, the people talked of stoning him, the people were thirsty, and Moses the meek man, lost it and struck the rock. He was told to speak to it but out of frustration, he struck it twice. He failed in reaching the promised land, and he was told he would not see it with the people he had led for all those years. Moses, needless to say had a bad week.
How about David?
II Samuel 11:14-17
David saw Uriah’s wife and had to have her for herself. He tried to cover his sin which is impossible to do, and in his attempt to do so, he had Uriah killed in battle. David was entrusted as the king to protect and look out for the people, but here he was pursuing his own lusts and doing the opposite of protecting his people. David failed in being a righteous king, failed in self-control and failed in pleasing God.
Ever failed in these areas? Ever tried to hide your sin? How did that go?
Have you done something to deny Christ in your life? Have you ever been ashamed of Him? How about in your witness of Him?
We all fail at some point in our Christian lives and many times it is several times throughout the day. God can only use people that have failed because that is all there is. A preacher once said, “Failure is not a person, but it is an event.” The mark is perfection but there is no such thing as perfection.
In Matthew we read about how a boy was demon possessed and the boys father had asked the disciples to cast the demon from the boy. The disciples tried to do it, however, they could not. Jesus ended up casting the demon and then later on the disciples asked Jesus why they couldn’t cast the demon.
Unbelief and faithlessness is a root sin that many of us are guilty of. Many of us have fallen into sin and all of this because of a lack of faith. It’s somewhat comforting to know the disciples struggled with faith also. Every Christian at some point or another has struggled in the area of faith. But faith is the key to our relationship with God.
What does the Bible say about failure?
Testing and trials are inevitable, the Bible tells us that it will come as we read in Job.
Testing will come but we told in scripture to count it joy! It’s not an easy thing to count trials and testing as joy. However, this is exactly we are told in the book of James.
We are told to count trials and testing as joy which means our response is what matters to God. We are being given opportunities to grow.
How do you respond to trials and testing? Do you pass or fail?
We know that trials will come whether you are rich or poor, man or woman, blue eyed or brown eyed, for God is not respecter of persons.
Testing and trials, at times will come directly from God, but we should know that in those trials God is treating us as sons and daughters.
What a blessing to know that God loves me unconditionally.
What does not fail?
- I Corinthians 13:8
- II Corinthians 3:9
What do we do with testing/trials and failure?
- Expect trials and be ready for them
- Know that trials and testing will come
- Know your identity when testing comes and you fail. There will be times in our life when we fail, but we must not let that define us. We as Christians are not defined by failure but we are defined by the one who saved us.
- Galatians 3:26
- If you fail don’t let failure define you
- Proverbs 28:13
- 1 John 1:9
- Get back up
- Proverbs 24:16
- Move forward
- Luke 9:5
- Philippians 3:14
- When trials come remember God’s promises and provisions so that you may respond without failure
- God is our provider
- Psalms 145:14-15
- God cares for you
- God is our protector
- Isaiah 41:13
- He will never leave you nor forsake you
- Deuteronomy 31:8
- God has already equipped us for everything
- 2 Peter 1:3
- God will give us strength to bear our trials
- 1 Corinthians 10:13
God’s promises never fail! God never fails, and He can and never will fail us. To try something means to fail sometimes in our endeavors. If you try nothing, then you will not fail but that is not the life God has called us to.
What will you do with failure?
Will you get and rise or will you succumb to defeat?
We have a God who is faithful even in our failures and a God who will give us grace if we humble ourselves. May we get up when we fall down, and may we press on for the glory of God.