DEFINITION: Failure is a lack of success in achieving something. It is falling short of what is required or expected, failing God, others, or one’s self.
FACTS ABOUT FAILURE:
Failure to live up to the mandates of God’s Word is sin. This requires repentance. “Forgive our sins” is part of the model prayer to be prayed daily (Matthew 6:12).
All failure is not sin. Sometimes you fall short of goals or expectations you set for yourself or those that are set for you by others. For example, you might fail at meeting your employer’s expectations in a certain area or fail an examination at school. This is not sinful. It is simply a setback that, if handled properly, you can learn from and turn into a comeback.
Failure makes you realize your dependence on God. The world says “you can do it”. Failure eliminates this idol of self-effort and makes you realize you can and be successful through Jesus Christ. Even the great Apostle Paul admitted that the difficulties in Asia were beyond his ability to endure and were permitted so that “…we might not rely on ourselves but on God…” (2 Corinthians 1:8-11).
DEALING WITH FAILURE:
If you have failed to live up to the mandates in God’s Word, repent. This type of failure requires repentance and forgiveness by God. You will not succeed if you continue to conceal your sins (Proverbs 28:13).
If you have failed to live up to expectations, forgive yourself. Many expectations are imposed upon you by others or yourself. Realize that you are an imperfect person living in an imperfect world. Failure to achieve a self-imposed goal or one imposed upon you by others is not sin. Forgive yourself and move on.
Forget the past. You can learn from the past, but you cannot live in the past if you want to succeed. As long as you are living in the past, you will never have a future. Like the Apostle Paul, forget the past and keep pressing towards the future (Philippians 3:13-14)
Confess your dependence on God. Rely on God for strength to suceed (2 Corinthians 1:8-11). Make Philippians 1:6 your daily confession: “I can do everything through him who gives me strength”.
Confess your confidence in God: You are not destined to fail. If you are a true believer, God will complete what He has started in you. “…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).
Do not quit! Failure is not permanent. You never truly fail until you quit trying!
WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT FAILURE:
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. (Deuteronomy 31:8)
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.(Psalms 73:26)
…for though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again, but the wicked are brought down by calamity. (Proverbs 24:16)
He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. (Proverbs 28:13)
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. (Isaiah 60:1)
But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers. (Luke 22:32)
When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power. (1 Corinthians 2:1-5)
We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us. (2 Corinthians 1:8-11)
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. (2 Corinthians 4:7-9)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
..being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6).
Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)
I can do everything through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:8-10)