…for the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.
The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand.
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
“We failed, but in the good providence of God, apparent failure often proves a blessing.” – Robert E. Lee
No one likes to fail. I have never been to a party in the locker room when the game was lost. It just isn’t something that one enjoys. Winning, on the other hand, is one of the best feelings in the world. The problem is that it usually takes some losses to make it to the winner’s circle. The key to making it to the winner’s circle lies in how you deal with failure.
I have tried and failed at so many, many things. If I had a dollar for every failure in my life I would probably have a few thousand. There is an old axiom that some attribute to Abraham Lincoln and others Winston Churchill. “Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” This is true in many aspects. There is one thing that the enemy abhors. People who turn their lives over to Jesus with passion and conviction, vowing to change their lives and further the Kingdom of God. His greatest tool is discouragement and accusation. In Mathew chapter 13, Jesus gives us the Parable of the Sower. There are seeds planted on rocky ground and thorns. The seeds in the rocky ground could never take root. The seeds in the thorns were choked out. Does this sound like failure to you? The enemy will use your failure as a weapon of shame and guilt. He will choke you out and keep you from taking root. I have been a professing Christian for all of my life. It is only in recent years that I have finally come to understand that my failures are not reasons to run away from God but a reason to run to him.
I don’t believe that God wants us to go through horrible situations and epic failures. I do believe that he uses them to help us grow and maybe even reach more people. The problem is that most of us leave the fight the first time we get knocked down. David was anointed king some 15 years before he ever sat on the throne. That was 15 years of running and hiding in caves. That was 15 years of doubt that he was supposed to be the king. That was 15 years that David had to keep getting up after he had been knocked down. He never withdrew from the fight.
When you fail, repent and run to the arms of the Father. Do what I do, run to the throne of Grace. Hebrews 4:14-16 teaches us that God is ready to help you up. He is ready to dust off your britches, pat you on the butt and set you back on the road he has designed for you. Don’t let the enemy use condemnation, guilt, and shame to keep you from knowing him in deeper ways.
Failure should always lead us to God, never away!