“Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1
Most of us are familiar with the story of the Prodigal Son found in Luke 15:11-32. I confess that, at first, I did not sympathize with this proud young man who insulted his father by asking for his inheritance before the elderly man passed away. Then taking the money, he went out into the world and failed.
Nobody likes to fail, yet Job 14:1 tells us “Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble”. Trouble, whether it be pain, disappointment or failure, is inevitable, even for believers. We, however should not be devastated by failure, but rather we should take comfort in the knowledge that God has a plan for our lives, even though that plan may sometimes include failure.
Yet failure, like all other forms of adversity, is not always bad, nor necessarily the end. One only truly fails when one gives up, and stops trying, or fails to learn from past experiences. Failure should bring out the creative side of you.
Thomas Edison made 1000 unsuccessful attempts at the light bulb, before there was light. He did not see the previous attempts as failures, but rather as an “invention with 1000 steps”.
Believers, in the midst of failure, God is still there. Fasten your eyes on Jesus, get up, and try again. Commit your ways to the Lord, and allow Him to direct your path. He will not let go of you.
There are times however when we fail to walk worthy of the Lord’s calling, and we fall into the trap of sin. For some, there can be no greater failure. We wonder if God is disappointed in us, and we may not even want to pray, thinking God will not hear us. Our loving Father, however, has not written us off. This is why Jesus came so that He may rescue our souls. 1 John 1:9 promises us forgiveness and cleansing when we confess our sins to God.
God’s mercy, however does not give us a license to sin. Romans 6:1-2 ERV clearly states: So do you think we should continue sinning so that God will give us more and more grace? 2 Of course not! Our old sinful life ended. It’s dead. So how can we continue living in sin?
Instead, we are presented with an opportunity to develop a deeper relationship with the Father. This is what happened with the Prodigal Son. His failure brought him to his senses, and back into the arms of his father. He recognized the value in the things that he so quickly dashed aside. It also taught him to be humble, and not think of himself more highly than he aught.
May our failures become our success story as we cling to the One who knows our beginning from our end.
Prayer: Father, thank You for Your grace and Your mercy. I pray that You give us Your Spirit so that we may persevere even in the midst of failures and disappointments. Amen