If we don’t succeed, are we failures?
Failure requires grace.
Without the grace that God provides, we are left with only our own sufficiency to recover. Yet God tells us that His grace is our sufficiency. A more accurate translation would read something like “I am all the grace you need.” Grace comes in His presence, because He is grace.
Failure drives us to God.
It reminds us we need a Savior. We need not only to be saved from our sins, but to be saved through our failures. When we realize our total helplessness to find strength in ourselves, we fall back into our dependency on God. Only then we are positioned to succeed.
What we see as failure may actually be great success.
When Jesus was nailed to the cross, His disciples forgot that He had already told them it would happen. They didn’t remember that He said He would rise again. They thought He had come to set up His kingdom on earth, so His death looked to them like a failure. But it was the greatest success the world has ever seen! Only after the third day did they remember what He had told them and understand the truth about the Kingdom of God, and ultimately about themselves.
God may allow you to fail.
God may allow you to fail so that you remain humble (See James 4:6). He gave Paul a “thorn in the flesh” because of his great revelations. Without this constant reminder, there would have been tremendous temptation toward pride. Paul’s “failure” to overcome this tribulation meant that God got all the glory, and Paul remained humble. And when you are humble, God will lift you up (Matthew 23:12). If God had answered Paul’s prayer to remove the thorn, it would also have removed God’s grace in the situation.
Failure sometimes, but not always, involves sin.
We can fail because we are physically weak, not knowledgeable enough, or for other reasons beyond our control (like outside interference). But even in those things, sin is a possibility. Did we neglect our bodies and now we are ill? Is it our refusal to pay attention to our teachers? Did we put ourselves in a place
When there is sin, we often don’t recognize it.
Failure often does involve sin. Even when we don’t recognize the sin in our failures, it’s there.
Be constant in continued prayer.
When failure comes (and it will), what is the answer? Be constant in continuing prayer. Do not cease to pray, for it is in prayer that we recognize God’s great power and acknowledge His perfect plan.
Photo courtesy of Michael Heuss on Unsplash