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Monday, May 20, 2024
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So You Failed-Now What: Perspective of How God Sees It

So You Failed-Now What: Perspective of How God Sees It
So You Failed-Now What: Perspective of How God Sees It

Failing is part of our life experience. It is inevitable that we will fail from time to time throughout our life. What’s important is, that we know how to deal with it when it comes.

The Book of Ecclesiastes, chapter 3, tells us that, “To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under the sun…” So in the life of the believer there is a time to win and a time to lose.

In John 21:3 we have the poignant words, “That night they caught nothing.” What’s going on?

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The background: This is just shortly after the resurrection. The tomb is empty. They have reported, “Christ is risen!” Some of the disciples have actually seen Jesus. Isn’t this a time of glorious victory, success, for the kingdom? Why is it then that we find these seven disciples in the dead of night, probably a cold night, sitting in a boat on the Sea of Galilee, fishing?

This was a season of failure in the life of these disciples. They were frightened at seeing Jesus put to death on the cross. Who knows? Maybe they were next. They were distraught. What now? Peter is the one who comes up with the idea: “There’s one thing I know how to do. I know how to fish. I was a fisherman before Jesus called me. I’m going fishing.” So the other six disciples said, “OK, we’ll go with you.” That night they toiled all night, putting down their nets, pulling up their nets empty, down and up and empty every time. That night they caught nothing. This was a season of failure.

Why do failures have a way of devastating us? Two reasons:

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1. The first reason I believe failure often devastates us is that it points out our imperfections. We lack the courage to be imperfect. We say we know that we are not perfect, but when failure comes we respond as if we thought we were. We think we have got to be perfect, always get it right, always appear strong, and always portray ourselves as successful. I think sometimes God has to remind us that we are not perfect by allowing us to fail.

The Apostle Paul in Philippians 3:12 “Not as though I had already attained I’m not successful yet nor already perfect but I follow on.” We are not perfect yet. We are in the process of being perfected. Failure is part of the refining process that moves us to completion.

2. The second reason why failure devastates us is because irrationally we confuse failing with being a failure. How many failings does it take to make a failure? I may fail a lot but that doesn’t make me a failure. The only time I become a failure is the day I give up. Then I’m a failure. As long as I keep trying, I’m not a failure.

When is failure really a failure? Don’t you love those stories of people when, early in their life, it seems that everything had gone wrong and they had failed at everything then suddenly they succeed?

There was a young Scottish man brought up in the highlands of Scotland, went to the seminary to become a pastor. When he completed seminary he was assigned to his first preaching appointment in a little church in the mountains of Scotland. He entered the pulpit trembling. For the first time, he was going to preach a sermon in the Church of Scotland. He got to the top, opened his Bible to get ready to preach and forgot his text. He was humiliated. He turned and fled from the pulpit, ran out of the door, and was heard to be screaming as he ran down the street, “I will never preach again!”

About 20 years ago on a trip to Africa I stood on the banks of the great Zambezi River near Victoria Falls, the greatest falls in the world. There is a place if you position yourself along these great falls and turn around (do a full 180) and look up, you’ll see a statue of that man who fled the pulpit because he forgot his text. David Livingston.

When is a failure a failure?

So what should we do with failure? Three things we must do with failure:

1. Allow God to be a part of it. Make it part of your experience with God. When it does occurs it becomes part of your experience with God. This is the great mystery of God’s providence. But when we fail we are to allow Him in. He is there to help us. So make God a part of it. Let God love and embrace you even in your times of failure.

Philippians 3:8 “I count all things but loss… I think he’s saying I count everything as a failure, … for the exceeding, the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.”

When we make God a part of it, then we can put it in proper perspective. We put it in the perspective of eternity. So keep your failures in perspective by making God a part of them.

Maybe failure is really not failure after all. In God’s economy there is really no such thing as failure, only forced growth.

2. The second thing we must do with failure is we must to learn to grow from it. Failures are for growing. Philippians 3:10 “That I may know him and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his suffering.” Failure helps us understand the fellowship of suffering.

Someone has said, “Success is built upon a mountain of failure.” Erma Bombeck, the great humorist, received an invitation to come to a banquet of highly successful people. She was a bit taken back and then realized, “Successful? I guess I am.” She started to throw it away and then decided she would go. She wanted to know what highly successful people talked about. So she went to the banquet. She said, “Everywhere I went, there was only one topic of conversation: How I learned from my failures.”

Learn from it. Grow from it. God has lessons to teach us. Accept them as gifts of His grace.

One famous writer was once asked, “If you could do it over again, what would you do different?” He said, “I’d make more mistakes.”

3. The third thing we must do with failure is forget it or let go of it.The problem with this failure stuff is we seem unable to forget it. We lie awake at night. We punish ourselves with it. We begin to think something must be wrong with us. Look! Forget it! Philippians 3:13 “This one thing I do, literally he is saying he gives all his energy to forgetting those things which are behind, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling in God in Christ Jesus.”

The long and short of it is: Failure can cause you to get up or give up. You choose, you decide. But at least decide from the perspective of how God sees it.

-By RON CORZINE-roncorzine.com

 

So You Failed-Now What: Perspective of How God Sees It

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