FAILURE! Some people go through life consumed by the fear of failure. Winston Churchill said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” The great country music singer Johnny Cash had a philosophy about failure worth thinking about. He said, “You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.” The Preacher Jack Hyles said, “Success is on the same road as failure; success is just a little further down the road.” Zig Ziglar the popular motivational speaker said, “Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street.” George Washington Carver said, “Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.” No one makes it through life without having some failures along the way. We know from the Bible that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Failure will visit us in life from time to time but we don’t have to let it control us nor do we have to dwell on it or let it revisit us. Failure in life pursuits, vocations, education and personal relationships may happen to us in life but they should not define who are or what we ultimately will be in life or eternity.
King David in giving some life direction to his son Solomon who would soon be King said this, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you,” (1 Chronicles 28:20 NIV). In the middle of things that seem like failure there is one who will always be faithful to us as Christians. The Apostle Paul wrote to his young apprentice Timothy and said, “God will remain faithful, for He cannot disown Himself,” (2 Timothy 2:13). When we ask “why” God’s Word says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose,” (Romans 8:28 NIV). Failure can be a teacher and a guide for the future or it can lead one on a destructive downward spiral depending on our reaction to the failure. We can let the fear of failure keep us from fulfilling and achieving God’s purpose for us in life or we can face those fears, trust God, and attempt great things for God and live for God on a daily basis. We will need God’s help in dealing with the fear of failure in life but let us remember the words of the Psalmist, “I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth, (Psalm 12:1-2 NIV). Fear of failure will not consume us when we depend on God’s promises and step out in life trusting in the One who wants us to be successful. Move on past failure in life because “success is just a little further down the road.”