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Rarely is failure seen as any means of success or progress.  At a young age we are taught to win, and even if we don’t win, participation trophies are given out so that no child feels the weight of loss.  This attempt to alleviate any pain or sense of loss ultimately does more harm than good.  The truth is, failure is a good teacher. It’s been said that we often learn more from failures than our so called successes.  I’ve found that to be true over and over again in my life.

Just as the Church at large seems to lack a ‘theology of suffering’ today, the lack of a ‘theology of failure’ is equally lacking. No one wants to fail. Ever. Yet we all fail all the time.  With each failure we have a lot to learn! God uses the failures in our lives to mature us.  He teaches us how to rely upon Him, cry out to Him, and depend upon Him.  He uses them to humble us. Failures remind us that only One is perfect, and it’s not us.

By the way, Praise the Lord that you’ve failed at seeking to serve God. That means you’re making progress. It means that you’re stepping out in faith. It means you’re trying.  It means that you realize what you attempted was not successful and now you’re asking for God to give direction!

Pastor Chuck Smith writes:

“It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth” (Lamentations 3:27). One of the worst things that can happen to a young minister is to experience early success. It is all too easy for us to believe that, “By the strength of my hand I have done it” (Isaiah 10:13). Until we have sat for a while in failure and come to the end of ourselves, we will neither know nor credit God’s grace for whatever good we may do. Nor will we be able to minister grace to others in their time of need and failure. Instead, we will exhort them to pick themselves up and follow our “Five-Step Plan for Success.”

Discouragement over the past and fear of the future are often 2 reactions that come with failures. We look back and remember the mistakes we have made and then we look ahead and wonder if there is any future for us! The answer for discouragement and fear is God’s Word to us. With every page is encouragement from the Lord to us!

Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, Who seek Him with the whole heart! Psalms 119:2 


  • George B says:

    Such an encouraging word. thank you

  • Joe says:

    I once heard that failure is succeeding at the wrong thing. The world defines success in terms of money, status and power. How tempting it is to measure ourselves with the world’s standard.

  • Erika Es says:

    God wants obedience better than sacrifice. I think, what we perceive as failure is not what God sees. He sees victory. God’s measurement of success is different than ours. His thoughts are different than our thoughts…

  • Vinni says:

    Needed this message in a big way…

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