Failure: Never Forever
John Wesley, the father of the Methodist church, was another man whose marriage was a failure. He, too, was able to rise above his circumstances to build a work that has helped millions of people around the world.
The Apostle Paul was another person with a determination to win. His goal was to proclaim God's message of love and hope to all people. As a result he was thrown into jail several times, and faced death again and again. Five times he was whipped by the Jews and three times he was beaten with rods. Once he was stoned, three times shipwrecked. He faced grave dangers from robbers and mobs. He lived with weariness, pain and sleepless nights. He was often hungry and cold and was criticized for his less-than-perfect looks and speech. But did Paul ever feel that he was a failure or that God had forsaken him? Never!
Unwaveringly he kept his eye on his goal.1 The problems, setbacks and failures along the way strengthened him for the journey. Paul's attitude was: "It is God himself, in his mercy, who has given us this wonderful work [of telling his Good News to others], and so we never give up."2
For those who trust in God,
failure is never forever.
Perhaps there is no greater way to overcome feelings of failure than to know what God wants you to do with your life. He wants you to achieve something worthwhile—not necessarily spectacular. When you are living in harmony with God's will, you can know that you have God on your side and that he will give you the faith, courage, and determination to go on.
As God said to Joshua, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."3
As far as following God was concerned, Jonah failed hopelessly. He defiantly did the opposite of what he knew he was supposed to do. But did God reject him? No. God allowed him to experience failure. This brought him to his senses. When he was ready to listen, "the Word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time."4
And so it is with us. No matter how many times we feel we've failed, God will continue to call us to himself.
If you feel you have failed, be encouraged. Now's the time to give God a chance. "He'll mend even a broken heart if you'll give him all the pieces." God calls us all to follow him, so why not respond to his call and, if you haven't already done so, ask him to come into your life as Lord and Savior? He can make a much better job of your life than you can if you will trust it to him.
For those who trust in God, failure is never forever.
1. Philippians 3:14.
2. 2 Corinthians 4:1, (TLB).
3. Joshua 1:9, (NIV).
4. Jonah 3:1, (NIV).
Back to Page One