Know that failure doesn’t have to be fatal

Published 9:05 pm Saturday, April 9, 2016

By LARRY STOVER | Praise Park Ministries Church of the Nazarene

The Bible records many failures because it records life as it is. God’s word is about real people. Some of the people we remember from the Bible today are only seen for their successes, but long before the success, there was failure for many.

One of those individuals we think about was Simon Peter. On three different occasions he denied that he even knew who Jesus Christ was. I believe that he would have died for Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. He made a valiant effort defending the Lord when he cut off the ear of the servant of the High Priest.

When the rooster crowed, the look from Jesus sent him into despair, guilt and to tears. In a moment Peter least suspected, he floundered and failed. He not only failed to tell the truth, but more than that, he failed to keep a promise to Jesus that he would never deny him.

What can we all learn from failure? It has happened to all of us. None of us are so perfect that we have never let a friend of family member down. Who has not disappointed their spouse by not following through on a commitment? We can all plead guilty. This does not mean the end of a marriage or relationship. So what can we learn from the failures in life?

First of all, failure does not have to be fatal if we recognize that everyone fails. More than that, try to understand that failing a time or two does not make you a failure.

Peter was absolutely sure of his loyalty and strength, yet he failed. We all plan to start out well, have the best intentions, and finish well.

Excitement consumes us as we strive to succeed in some area of life. All of a sudden, we are distracted, or make a wrong decision, or hang out with the wrong crowd, and we experience failure. We are not alone. Don’t quit yet.

Secondly, remember that failure is not fatal we remember that God’s love and forgiveness are not dependent on success. It doesn’t matter how many times you have failed, or what sin may be causing you to stumble time and time again, the Savior who died for your sins still loves you.

The story of Christianity is the story of failed men and women who found new futures through a day to day relationship with Jesus Christ. There is hope.

Thirdly, failure is not fatal if we learn and grow from our failures. Take advantage of your failures and learn all you can from them.

Peter had great remorse for what he had done. Instead of running away from God, he ran back to the Savior who had given him hope and direction. Which way are you running?

Lastly, failure is not fatal if we put our failures behind us. We all fail at one time or another. Sometimes we even fail the Lord. Satan will tell you that you are finished, have no hope or that your future is destroyed. Don’t believe him.

Proverbs 24:16 reminds us that “though a righteous man may fall seven times, he rises again.” Our greatest glory is not in failing, but in rising up each time we fall.

You may not be able to regain the loss, undo the damage or reverse the consequences. But, we can all make a new start, be more wise and sensitive, and be determined with the help of the Holy Spirit to do the right thing.

Just as Simon Peter was restored after his failure, so you and I can be restored when we fail. Looking ahead, forgiven and restored, makes life “Simply Beautiful.”