Hi, I’m Pastor Brent of Faith Alive Family Church in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Canada. Welcome to God Today. I want to talk to you about failure. Failure is not a popular subject as we all know. Every one of us has failed at one time or another. We need to realize, instead of avoiding failure, we need to embrace failure. I know that sounds difficult if we’ve failed. It hurts to fail, we’re disappointed in ourselves. We might think life is over and so on and so forth. But I want you to look today, at failure in a different manner. The inventor of IBM once said, “The fastest way to succeed is to double your failure rate.” I think that’s an interesting quote. Failure can paralyze us, it can hurt us. Many people succumb to it because they don’t know how to respond to it.
Judas Iscariot failed in a huge way when he betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, and you know what happened to him in the end. We need to understand that failure can also be an indicator that we need to change. It’s not always that we’re bad or that we’re not doing a good job. Maybe we’re doing our best. But sometimes we need to realize that change is necessary. It’s like when we have pain on our body we know we need to go to a doctor or we need to go to a dentist. Failure can be a helpful facet of life if we learn to embrace it and not just eschew it.
Peter is an interesting story of failure. Peter, like all the other disciples, said, “Jesus, if you need to die then I’m going to be with you. If you die, I die.” We all know that they all left Him, they all abandoned Him. In fact, Peter denied Him three times. Then he went away. We know he walked away, he must have felt horrible, he knew he had failed his master. I imagine he wanted to just go and do himself in. Good thing that he didn’t, and so, in the end, something good. We have to understand that failure has to be something we embrace, and learn how to respond correctly to.
Don’t give up when you fail. Don’t just try and make up for failure by working extra hard. No. We need to understand that only God’s mercy can make up for our failure. When we do fail, let’s turn to God. Judas failed because he didn’t turn to God. Peter stayed, and he must have stayed at least close to God. I like what it says there in Mark 16. After Jesus was resurrected and some of the disciples went to the tomb to look for Jesus, there was an angel there. He said to them in verse 6, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He has been resurrected, He is not here. See the place where they put Him. Go, tell His disciples, and Peter.” I love that. God was looking at Peter’s failure. Not like, “Oh, I’m going to condemn you. You’re a loser. I don’t like you. I don’t want you as my disciple anymore.” No. No. No. God does not look at failure like we might look at it. He’s always in a mode of bringing us back to Himself. He sees us as valuable and He loves us so very much.
The next time you fail, use it as a stepping stone to go forward and not backward. Your response to it is really, really important. In fact, if you don’t deal with failure in the right way, it will certainly deal with you. I want to end with this little quote I wrote, “You can let failure be the water that douses your flame, or you can allow it to be the fuel that fires your future.” Let’s pray. Lord, I thank you for those who are hearing today, those who are watching this devotional program. Lord, I pray if they are struggling with something, if they’ve felt like a failure, Lord I pray, lift them up today. Lift up their hearts, lift up their spirits. Call them forward. Call them to go ahead. Call them to go forward again. For their success is waiting for them in Jesus’ name. Amen.