Success through Failure

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“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” -Michael Jordan

Wow! Those are encouraging words for me today. And perhaps for you, as well. Seems like, at this point in my life, I fail far more than I succeed. But the Bible says that when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10) Through our failures, God yields His strength to us. And, in these cracked, clay vessels, our imperfections allow God’s light to shine through. The imperfections are still there. Yet they serve the greater purpose of allowing others in this darkened world to see God’s glory radiating through us- failures and all.

Like Michael, let’s keep on trying!

2 Corinthians 4:7: “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”

2 Corinthians 12:9,10: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (ESV)

Strength for Today

Strength

 

by Angela Hall Dobbins © 2004

“Keep on beginning and failing. Each time you fail, start all over a gain, and you will grow stronger until you have accomplished a purpose – not the one you began with perhaps, but one you’ll be glad to remember.” ~Anne Sullivan

If some of you are like me, you may have been struggling lately to remain firmly rooted in your faith and not be blown away by the storms of life, and all the frustration and confusion that comes as their result. Jesus promised us an abundant life in and through Him, and I believe we can have that abundant life…right here and now… right where we live and in our immediate circumstances. We only have to remain focused on the LORD!

Now, I know that’s easier said than done. Most of us find that there are times when we eagerly begin the day, ready with Christian vigilance and a positive attitude, to conquer whatever life throws our way. But, somehow, about half way through the day, we begin to get a little weary. Those storms of life begin to beat down upon us and the winds begin to blow, until we find ourselves worn and tattered…at times barely able to make it through the remainder of the day. This is especially true of those of us who suffer from a chronic illness or pain. We despondently discover that we have little patience and joy left for our families and loved ones, perhaps even for others. And we feel we have even less for ourselves. We end up feeling weak, discouraged, and as though we’ve failed in our Christian walk.

I know you’ve had days like that. Haven’t you? I surely have. But, in looking back, most of the times when I ended up feeling like such a failure, I realized that, somehow during my day, I had stopped focusing upon God and was no longer standing on His promises. Instead, I was ashamed to find that, in most cases, I had lost sight of the Lord and had turned most of my focus toward my pain and discomfort, as well as the trials, circumstances, and pressures of life which hurled around me. I became like the Apostle Peter, who immediately started to sink when he took his eyes off Jesus.

And yet, amazingly, every time I’ve found myself wavering, stumbling, or even sinking, the Lord has always been right there to lift me up again and set my feet back on solid ground. Isn’t He Faithful and Wonderful!

Do you feel discouraged today? Are you tired and weary from worry and stress? Do you feel the desire for a closer walk with the Lord in your life, but you just can’t seem to attain it? Jesus promised us an abundant life, if we would only seek Him and keep our focus and trust upon Him. Whatever your circumstances, He understands and He cares.

Start each day reading God’s Word. This will give you strength for the day’s journey. Talk to the Lord throughout the day, asking for His continued strength and guidance… not just when you feel weak. Thank Him for His presence in all things and for every little blessing. And ask Him to keep your feet from stumbling. He’s right there beside you every step of the way, even when you forget to seek Him. He is not only our LORD, but He is our Friend. And His desire is to give us a life filled with joy, peace and victory!

Remember, if you do stumble… and all of us do… don’t stay beaten down and discouraged, considering yourself a failure. Take the Lord’s hand and let Him pull you right back up! No matter how many times it takes, you will eventually gain the victory over whatever trial you are facing at the time. Believe it! His Word says it and it’s TRUE!

Scripture References:

Lamentations 3:22-25, “It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.” (KJV)

Romans 5:1-5, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” (KJV)

1 Corinthians 15:57-58, “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”  (KJV)