“Don’t wait in ambush at the home of the godly, and don’t raid the house where the godly live. The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked.” – Proverbs 24:15-16.
Everyone has an inner desire to succeed. This desire can be strong, and at times we can become very competitive. We want to run faster, jump higher and endure longer. We want to make more money, have more stuff and leave a more lasting legacy. We want to succeed as Christians as well. We set goals and we hope for great things. We want to make significant contributions to the kingdom. But there are often things in our life we would like to change for the better in order to be a better Christian. And each new year is the perfect jumping off point to put hope into action and to address that one or multiple spiritual concerns. We all have flaws we would like to improve; not spending enough time with the children, or we want to improve becoming a better parent, or holding grudges, or gossiping or even addictions. But here is the thing; I tried to address my area needing improvement last year and failed. What if I fail again? It’s too painful to fail, so I am not going to get my hopes up.
Many people look at failure as being final. But as the old saying goes, it is not over until it is over. Your life is not over until you stand before the Lord Jesus Christ. Until then it is not over. Until it is over, it is not over. We have all had failures. We have all made mistakes in our life. Many people also think failure is avoidable. Failure is not avoidable. We all fail. We are all fixer uppers to one degree or another. You have got to realize that when you fail, when you trip, or when you stumble, it is not the end of the story.
Rick Warren said, “It’s easy to respond poorly to failure. Safe life is a wasted life. God made you for far, far more than the life you let your fears define for you.” The most important thing about failure is how we respond.
I can respond to failure by trying to learn. C.S. Lewis said “Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success.” In truth, failure is one of the best places to meet God. Failure can push me closer into a relationship with Jesus and increase my faith. Failure drives me to deeper prayer. It can strengthen my resolve to work harder on behalf of the dreams God has given to me.
Some of you reading this may be looking at the areas of your life where you have experienced failure. You are disappointed and left with some hard questions. Don’t give in to apathy. Don’t give in to the lies that failure wants to tell you. Instead, embrace your failure, and ask Jesus to turn your hope into action and transform that failure into something amazing.
- Failure can be a negative or a potential positive. Which applies to you?
- What can we do to turn hope into action this week?