Dealing With Failure

Did you know the way you deal with failure determines your success in life? As human beings we view failure as with a negative connotation that reveals personal is a bad thing but this is simply not true. Failure is inescapable in life. In fact the only way you cannot fail is if you do not anything in life. Tragically many individuals are plagued by the fear of failure and are paralyzed from following God’s plan for their lives. In my travels, I meet many individuals who so disillusioned and discouraged by failure they have given up on following God’s will for my life. They say things like “I used to have childlike faith and fully believe God had a plan for my life, but I have made too many mistakes or failed too many times, I have lost all hope!” I believe our greatest flaw as human beings is our misunderstanding of failure. As people we see attribute failure to our own lack of ability or intelligence but this could not be more out of touch with reality! The truth is the smartest, most gifted, and most intelligence people fail more often than anyone else. The most successful people in the world are those who have been willing to fail most often. Failures in life are only the road signs on God’s perfect track for your life. Failure is essential to discovering God’s plan for your life. Unless you are willing to travel the road of failure you will never reach the destination God has planned for your life. Discovering a Biblical Understanding of Failure To live a victorious and fearless Christian life, it is essential to discover an accurate and biblical understanding of failure. First off you must recognize failure is not an indication of personal weakness or inability. God reveals through Scripture, he uses failure as corrective tool to guide us in his perfect plan for our lives. Through failure God is able to clarify and redirect our paths to fully walk in his plan for your life. Have you ever visited one of those superfast go cart tracks before? For those who have always dream of Nascar this is the next best thing. For those who have never had the thrill of experiencing this, these are not little bumper cars that only go two miles an hour. This is not child’s play. These “cars” are smaller versions of F1 racing cars and they go so fast you can practically fly. As a result the immense speed capabilities of the cars, strong bumpers are placed on either side to ensure all cars stay on the track. Fully aware of our wandering and distractible human nature, God has designed failure to keep us on the perfect track he has planned for our lives. Just as the bumpers realign the nose of the car back onto the track, failure refocuses our hearts on God’s plan for our lives if we correctly understand failure. That is a big if because those who view failure as personal inability will only be discouraged and want to give up. This is why a biblical understanding of failure is essential to living and following in God’s plan for your life. I want to be very clear, God is a loving Father and does not act maliciously to cause you to fail in life. God is not the cause of failure in life. On the contrary, failure is the result depending on our own strength and not fully depending on our heavenly Father. Failure is also a result of not fully comprehending or understanding God’s plan. I countless people who have felt God compelling them down a particular path in different areas of their lives, but they experience failure and conclude this must not be God’s will for my life. Please don’t make this same mistake. Like the racecar driver you are likely going in the right direction and failure is only try to further clarify God’s direction for your life. My life is a living testimony of this truth. In high school I prayed constantly to understand God’s will for my life. I thought God was either calling me to be a teacher, engineer or pastor but I didn’t know which path to take. I paralyzed by fear of making the wrong decision and missing out on God’s plan for my life. A wise friend counseled me to take a step of faith and pursue the career I felt God calling me to. I went to Bible school for a year but I just felt God calling me to do something else. After much prayer I knew God was calling me to go into engineering. After a year in the faculty of engineering, I again felt God compelling my heart to something else. Though the majority of people would consider my life a failure up to this point, God was using these experiences to lead me to the perfect plan scripted for my life long before I even existed (Psalms 139:16). These “failures” were the bumpers along my track realigning my life into God’s perfect plan for my life. A plan so beyond my wildest dreams or imaginations. I have discovered by personal experience the only place of fulfillment and happiness in life is found in living in God’s perfect plan. God has designed failure like warning light on your vehicle dashboard to indicate you need to seek a clearer understanding of his will and plan for your life. The life of Moses is a perfect example of how God uses failure. From a young age, Moses knew God had called him to be Israel’s deliverer. Though Moses understood his calling, did had no clue how to fulfill his calling. He thought he had a general idea of God’s plan, so he tried to accomplish it in his own strength by killing two Egyptians. At this moment, Moses life was a complete failure. If you think you are the biggest failure in history, consider Moses. He killed a man and was forced to live in exile in the desert. It appears that Moses failure completely destroyed any hope of fulfilling God’s plan for his life. However, Moses failure was what prepared and enabled him to complete his God given mission. The deserts of our lives are God’s training ground. Failure was the road to living God’s plan. God used failure to reveal to Moses, he could not fulfill God’s plan in his own strength or ability. Through this process Moses realized without God’s presence and outside of God’s perfect timing it is possible to fulfill God’s mission for his life. Without failure’s preparation Moses would been totally incapable of leading the children of Israel. If you are facing failure today, take heart knowing God is preparing and aligning your life to follow his perfect plan. Seek God with all of your heart, for your heavenly Father longs to reveal his perfect plan for your life. Fully trust and rely on your Father knowing he alone can transform your failure into complete success.

1. What is your typical response to failure?

2. Are there areas of your life where you are trying to fulfill God’s plan for your life in your own strength?

3. What do you think of this idea, “The deserts of our lives are God’s training ground”? Do you see the deserts of your life as personal failure or God’s training ground?

4. Do you embrace God’s training in the deserts or do you try to get out of them as quickly as possible?

5. Is there any areas of your life where you need realignment or clarification of God’s plan? Your heavenly Father longs to lead you, more than you long to follow. He is only waiting for you to fully surrender so he can accomplish his perfect plan. What do you think of the following idea, “Failures in life are only the road signs on God’s perfect track for your life. Failure is essential to discovering God’s plan for your life. Unless you are willing to travel the road of failure you will never reach the destination God has planned for your life”? How can you apply this thought to your everyday life?

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