Don't Fear Failure

"I hope you fail!" Who would say something like that?? Failure is a word that most of us would like to remove from our vocabulary. None of us like it, and we certainly don't want to experience it. But we'll all face it sometime. The important thing is to be ready to turn to God in the midst of it. He is a faithful teacher in every situation.

I heard of a high school commencement speaker who said something very unusual in his address. He was chosen to speak because of his success as the president of a large business. As he stood before the students, he told them that he had one desire for them. As they go out into the world, he hoped they would fail at something that was important to them. He told how his early years had been one failure after another, until he finally learned to see failure as a very effective teacher in his life.

We see this in the Bible. Many songs from Israel had their birth in times of failure. "As the deer longs for flowing streams, so longs my soul for you, O God." Ps. 42:1-2

David often cried out to God in the midst of hard times and failure. "Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears!" Ps. 39:12

We often aren't ready to turn to God, to seek His wisdom, and receive His strength until we come to the end of ourselves. There are many examples in the Bible that tell of mountains of faith rising from valleys of failure. Before we get to the successes we strive for, we may need to first see the failure of precious dreams we hold in our hearts. We may need to learn to trust God's love, wisdom, and guidance when it takes us down paths we hadn't planned. We may fall flat on our faces a few times. We may struggle. We will certainly be humbled. We must learn from our failures, or we will fail to learn.

We must persevere through the difficult times in our life, through the failures. We can grit our teeth and just barely make it through, or we can learn and grow. God promises to go with us through difficult times. We can go through the fire and not be burned - by His grace! We don't need to fear. We must choose to not give up, but to look to Him. Sometimes we have to pick up the pieces and begin again. The failures and difficulties we struggle with can sometimes be the back door to a great success or victory that God has for us.

As I look back through my life, I see "seasons" of trial, difficulty, and, yes, failure. It's interesting that some of my greatest seasons of growth coincide with those same seasons. The pain, the stretching, the wrestling for answers and provision, the tears, and the questions (all things I don't really like) brought fruit and release into my life. They all brought me closer to Him. We say God is in control. In the face of difficulty and failure we need to stand firm on the truth of that even more!

"Why are you cast down, O my soul?....Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him." Ps. 42:5