I hate failure. I want everything I try to be successful the first time. I want to go from glory to glory with no floundering in between. Who is with me?
But alas, failure at one point or another is inevitable. Mistakes happen. We hear God incorrectly. We birth Ishmaels. We deny Christ. We let our emotions drive the bus. We let fear have a voice.
No one wants to fail but failure can be our greatest teacher.
Failure teaches that God is redemptive. The Bible is full of stories of God’s redeeming power. He redeemed David’s adultery, Peter’s denial, Moses’ murder. If we don’t become defeated by the failure, we will experience a powerful redemptive act of God.
Failure teaches us to continually allow God to clarify our purpose. Abraham birthed Ishmael when the promise was unclear. David had an affair when he forgot all God had given him. Peter denied Christ when he forgot the miraculous he had witnessed the last three years. In each case God restored. God reminded these men of who they were and what they were called to do.
Failure teaches us humility. A gracious winner begins with a gracious loser. Failure should lead us back to the cross. Back into His loving arms, where he reminds us of our identity as loved and redeemed children. Failure should remind us that though we have experienced a temporary lost, we are always loved. Though we experienced a momentary fall we are always favored.
Let me tell you a secret. Ultimately, there is no failure in Christ! There are just unpleasant life lessons learned along the way. Because the promises are:
“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in Christ’s triumphal procession and through us spreads the aroma of the knowledge of him in every place.”
2 Corinthians 2:14 CSB
“Weeping may stay overnight, but there is joy in the morning.”
Psalms 30:5 CSB
“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!”
1 Corinthians 15:57 CSB
“We are being transfigured into his very image as we move from one brighter level of glory to another. And this glorious transfiguration comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
2 Corinthians 3:18 TPT
Brothers and sisters, don’t despise temporary setbacks. Learn from them. Grow from them. See what God wants to teach you.
Don’t fear birthing Ishmaels. God is redemptive.
Trust more in God’s power to get you to your destiny (He has been doing this a long time) than your ability to mess it up!