Here’s how you can recover from failure and use it to glorify God.
You shall say to them, Thus says the Lord: When men fall, do they not rise again? If one turns away, does he not return? (Jeremiah 8:4)
As Christian men, sometimes we can have mixed feelings about the failures in our lives. One thing that we all have in common is that each of us has had failures. As one of our pastors said, “Character isn’t made on the mountain peaks – it’s made in the valleys.” How we view failures is critical. Do we become better or bitter? What can we learn from them? How can we improve? How can we help others, as a result? “The righteous falls seven times and rises again.” (Proverbs 24:16)
In my own life, I have experienced many failures; professional, personal, as a dad, as a husband, and the list goes on. I haven’t always had the right view of my failures. So I’m not entrapped by my past failures, I have to want to break free before I can. It takes a conscious effort, through prayer and Bible study to help me to have the right view of my failures. There is a reason the rearview mirror in a car is so small in comparison to the size of the windshield; we should spend a majority of our time looking forward, versus focusing on what’s behind us.
Recover from Failure | A Few Examples
There have been many examples in a secular society where men who we now know as great men experienced – and overcame – adversities in their lives. Abraham Lincoln was defeated for the state legislature, for Illinois House Speaker, for nomination for Congress, for U.S. Senate twice, and for candidacy to U.S. Vice President. His teachers viewed Thomas Edison as being “too stupid to learn anything.” He was fired from his first two jobs for being “non-productive.” As an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts before inventing the light bulb. Through experiencing setbacks in his life, Winston Churchill said, “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” Although each of these men experienced adversities in their lives, none of them allowed failure to have the final word. “We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (Romans 5:4)
There are numerous examples in the Bible of men failing, yet later rising to become Godly heroes. David was an adulterer and a murderer. Peter denied Jesus three times. Paul persecuted Christians. These three men became some of the most well-known and well-respected Christians. With God’s help, the men turned from their prior ways and got better. They became God’s instruments, following His will and furthering His kingdom.
The Possibilities of Failure
Why do we consider some life events as being failures? Isn’t it possible that something you might think to be a failure was a part of God’s plan all along, to bring out something more significant in you, or someone else? All things work together for good; God is at work in your life! Take heart for God is always in control.
We should feel confident that every trial that we go through is God-filtered first. God is never caught off-guard, thinking, “Didn’t see that one coming!”
Author: Jeff Eder
For more reading materials on how we can use our failures to glorify God and to recover from failure, see below: