Unshakeable - Facing failure with faith - Part 1
According to Google Consumer Insights, people searched for "... all things 'good' - from 'how to be a good dancer' to 'what makes a good role model' to 'good things in life'. In fact, the world searched for 'good' more in 2018 than ever before". This is likely due to our experience with 'the bad' and our desire to overcome the things that cause failure in our lives.
Failure is, of course, part of life, and we all grapple with its effects. The impact, however, depends on how we respond. The good news is that God is on our side and wants us to succeed despite our let-downs. To do that, we need to learn how to respond properly when we fail.
Our attitude should be like Thomas Edison's, a prolific inventor known as the master of trial and error. When asked about the times he failed, he said, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."
Thomas Edison had faith despite his failures. His faith was rewarded, and today, we benefit from the light bulb. So, let us look at four ways that we can find similar unshakeable faith in the face of failure.
How to face failure with unshakeable faith?
Face the emotions of my failure
Scripture tells the story of Simon Peter, who failed Jesus three times. Because of it, he was in such despair that he gave up. When we fail at something, whether it's at a job, a relationship, or marriage, we face a barrage of emotions that make us want to quit. And the more closely we identify ourselves with the thing that we failed at, the more it hurts and the greater we feel that loss.
Focus on the future
The key to dealing with those emotions is to move through them and focus on the future. Look at what Philippians 3:13 (NIV) says: "No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it." In other words, the apostle Paul says, "I have failed, but I focus on this one thing, forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead - the future."
There is nothing wrong with feeling fear, anger, or shame after a big failure. It's a natural response, and it's healthy to feel these emotions and to go through them. The problem is when you get stuck. A lot of people are paralysed because they had a failure and became angry and started blaming others. In Jamaica, many of us are stuck with feelings of shame, and some of us are stuck in despair. God does not want you stuck.
There are two keys to facing strong emotions that come at you after you have failed:
a. Godly people to encourage forward movement. Godly people around us who are always pushing us and encouraging us to not get stuck in some of these emotional states. Sometimes, when we fail, we make every excuse not to try again, but we all need godly people in our lives who love us and push us forward.
b. Going to Jesus with your failure. When you fall flat on your face in something that is important to you, you need Jesus. He will be there to help get you back on your feet so that you can move forward again. Hebrews 4:14-16 (NLT) says, "So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses... ." In other words, He knows our failures. ...for He faced all of the same testings we do, yet He did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most."
Additionally, we sometimes get stuck because we have not experienced forgiveness. Jesus Christ offers us forgiveness and grace when we receive Him as Lord and Saviour. When we come to Jesus, we can bring to Him our failures and will find forgiveness and grace. He will help us deal with our hurts and our emotions. He will pull us to our feet when we fall on our face.
Be encouraged today, where you flopped, you don't have to stop! God can help you to win from the inside out. Face the emotions associated with your failures, and next week, we will look at more steps to bring you closer to restoration and success.