F-Words in the Bible: Failure

Recent polls have shows that out of 10,000 subjects, 10,000 admitted to failing at something.

Ok it wasn’t a real poll but I believe the results would be the same, the point is we all fail at something, and if someone honestly says they haven’t than they are ignorant of some form of failure that slipped under their radar.

1John 1:8 – If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
1John 1:10 – If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

The real issue is not have I sinned or am I sinful (because the Word says we will and are) the issue is: 1.)will I get back up? and 2.) how?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want this blog to be a downer, to say look at the crap pile of the human race, a bunch of failures! Wo is me!
No, I simply want to reveal a problem that is often overlooked and then explain a solution.

Being faithful to my previous “F-Words” blog, I’ll list some popular Bible “saints” and their failures. You’re not alone!

  • Adam and Eve – Disobeying God’s command (Genesis 3:1-13)
  • Abraham – Fearing Pharaoh instead of trusting in God’s protection (Genesis 12:12-20)
  • Israel – Turning to false gods and sinful practices from other nations (Hosea 3:1)
  • Jonah – Running from God’s calling (Jonah 1:1-4)
  • David – Lusting after Bathseeba, adultery, and murder of her husband (2 Samuel 11)
  • Samson – Disobeying God’s holy standards for his life (Judges 16)
  • Peter – Fearing persecution and forsaking Jesus (Matthew 26:69-75)

Failure Reveals a Deficit

Many do not agree with the Biblical truth that mankind is inherently sinful or bad, some say we are good but are corrupted by society, others say we only have some good in us. However when I look at the news, at history, and at myself the evidence points back to the scriptures.

Psalm 53:3 – Every one of them has turned aside; They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one.

So let’s just establish the rule that everyone fails is like the law of gravity! But what does this tell us about ourselves? That we need help in life and that we are missing something.

Have you ever read that accounts of the nation Israel in Judges, Kings, or Chronicles? They were horrible! It seemed every chapter they would all follow their king and sin against God by worshiping idols and then they would repent and clean up their lives. Guess what would happen right after that? They sinned the same way they had already and never seemed to learn their lesson! Similarly they could not keep even the 10 simple commandments so as to stay pure before their God. But was that really the purpose of the Law of Moses and the 10 commandments? I’ve learned otherwise. The 10 commandments and the levitical law was not given to the Jews so that they could purify themselves of sin, be atoned for through sacrifices, and be with God. It was so show that they needed something more than a self help program to overcome the failure of sin. They needed God Himself.

Galatians 3:10 – For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.”

The power of the law is to show us that we will all fail if we are the authors of our own salvation, we can’t work or earn salvation here or in the afterlife.

Galatians 3:19 Well then, why was the law given? It was given to show people how guilty they are. But this system of law was to last only until the coming of the child to whom God’s promise was made… (NLT)

Galatians 3:24 – Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

Failure is the Starting Line of Success

So, you messed up last weekend, last night, or for the good part of your life – good! Now you are in a place where you can make the right decision because the location of failure is the starting line of success. Imagine being a perfect human, never messing up, always in a good mood, having never experience selfishness or sin, not even one stubbed toe! How would you call Christ your Savior? You have all you need right? Happiness, money, wisdom and answers, it’s all yours! In this place you would have no room for God. So you may look at your imperfect state as a blessing because it allows you to be in the correct place to approach God.

Ephesians 1:7 NKJV – In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace
1John 1:9 NKJV – If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

I hope this helps you see the danger in believing that you are not sinful or guilty of sins committed, because with this mindset we don’t see the need for the cross. For only by the work of the cross are our failures payed for.

Stay Down or Get Back Up?

One of my wife and I’s favorite scripture is:

Proverbs 24:16 – For a righteous man may fall seven times And rise again, But the wicked shall fall by calamity.

I love this scripture because it reminds you that both the righteous and the unrighteous are going to fail or sin, but the righteous are different than the wicked, they will stand back up albeit bruised and tired and turn their face toward God’s throne. The righteous man is committed to rising again and again, why? Because he loves God and wants Him more than anything.

This is so true when you look at the great men and woman of history you may only see their success at first glance, but with a deeper look you can find a gallery of failures that preceded their success. Roger Von Oech said “Remember the two benefits of failure. First, if you do fail, you learn what doesn’t work; and second, the failure gives you the opportunity to try a new approach.” Abraham Lincoln ran for office 8 times and was only president for 1 full term! He wasn’t about to give up which led to His later success.

Do you want to live a life that is successful in God? Than don’t stay down, get back up and run in the right direction! Do you want to live a life of defeat and regrets? Than stay down and don’t push onward. Just lay there in your defeat and let of any hope.

Satan’s Lie

I have found that in Christians that are struggling against a situation that appears to be too much for them to handle or a sin that is too difficult to let go of they develop a mindset of  “I’m finally defeated because every time I try to climb back out I slide back in”. The problem in this thinking is in one word – “I”. When you get stuck in your situation don’t forget you are not there alone!

Deuteronomy 31:6 – “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”

Satan wants you to think God is not there for you and that He has abandoned you, believing this disables you from accepting God’s helping hand. Imagine if Meshak, Shadrach, and Abednego had not been accompanied by God’s angel in the burning furnace! They would be left to their own devices which would not have been able to save them from the fire. In the same way when we are alone, yes we are in trouble and defeated, but the Truth is that we aren’t alone – God is with us.

“We seem to gain wisdom more readily through our failures than through our successes. We always think of failure as the antithesis of success, but it isn’t. Success often lies just the other side of failure.”
-Leo F. Buscaglia

1Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.


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