Job 3:1 – After this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth.
Failure is an unpleasant part of human life. It is never welcomed but always nearby. Failure hits all of us at one point or another. No one escapes it. Whether it’s failed relationships, failing grades, failed business ventures, or failing at goals we set, all of us experience failure.
Failure is defined as a “lack of success or falling short.” Zig Ziglar notes: “Failure is an event, not a person.” Too many of us humanize failure instead of seeing it as an event that happens and something that can ultimately be overcome.
All of the people we admire have experienced failure. Jim Carey was initially booed off the stage. Katy Perry’s first album only sold 200 copies. Kevin Hart was told “No” for over 19 years. No, you’re not funny enough. No, you’re not marketable enough. No, people will never pay to see you in a featured movie. Each of the aforementioned persons named along with countless others have at some point in their life experienced failure. But their failure was not final and neither is yours. You are only a failure if you accept your failure as final.
Job felt like a failure too. The bible tells of his horrendous misfortune. All of his children were tragically killed. He lost everything he owned. And, he was even afflicted with boils from the “crown of his head to the soles of his feet.” Job’s wife encouraged him to “curse God and die.” But Job was an upright man who was also full of integrity. He believed in God so much that he uttered these timeless words of hope: “though he slay me, yet will I trust him.”
Has your life ever been turned upside down? Have you experienced moments where life just didn’t make sense? How should you deal with the failures in your life? What should your mindset be toward failure? How can you overcome your failures and turn them into successes?
First, don’t let your failures push you backward. 2 Corinthians 4:9reminds us that “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” Don’t allow your failures to have the last say.
Second, don’t be intimidated by life. In John 10:10, Jesus provides us with these encouraging and reassuring words: “…I come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.” It is God’s design for us to live an abundant life. This does not mean we won’t experience hardships. Our hardships (failures) are not final. Our hardships are designed to help us appreciate life more, and to push us toward a more meaningful and abundant life.
Finally, don’t count your failures, count your blessings. There’s a song we sing in church that goes something like this: “Count your blessings, name them one by one. Count your blessings, see what God has done.” Learn to accentuate the positive. Speak Deuteronomy 28:6; “Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.”
In closing, remember Romans 8:28 – “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Don’t let your failures push you backward. Don’t be intimidated by life. Count your blessings, not your failures. Your failure is not final.
Follow Dr. Preston T. Adams, III, senior pastor, Amazing Grace Christian Church on twitter @DrPrestonTAdams.