“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 3:12-14 NKJV
There is a recent rise in the failure theory in the world. People are encouraged to fail and learn from their mistakes and to rise from there. People are more open with their personal stories of failure, mainly when they have grown and succeeded through it. I watch surprised because this was not possible back in the day. Growing up, my parents made ‘A’s in all their exams, they tried to scam us to ’emulate’ them. Of course, it didn’t work for us, but for some families, it did.
I am a firm believer in getting up from your place of failure, and by God’s grace, learning from it and growing. However, I have come to realize that in some cases, the learning and growing are not external, but internal. Take the case of Apostle Paul, when he was Saul. He was honored and respected amongst his peers, but after the call, do you think his former friends and colleagues recognized his learning process and growth in God?
I have failed so many times in my life, and in some failure points, I just stayed down. I stayed down because I judged and condemned myself and could not see the light of the grace of Jesus Christ. Now, I know that all things are working for my good. I am deeply thankful for my experiences because they have formed me.
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28 NKJV
I have a question, what happens from failure to the expected end God had in His mind for you? What do you do, say to people, and how do you live? Paul said he would forget the things which were behind and he would press on towards the destination God had in mind for him. He wouldn’t dwell on the failure; instead, he would rise by faith and depend on God’s mercy, grace, and provision. I have come to learn through my experiences that they are new every morning, so like the Israelites, I seek only my manna for each day.
Everything God allows us to go through is for His kingdom and His glory, period. When we abound or when we are low, we need to keep our eyes on Him; however, most of us still have to get there. Up and away from the pain and shame that failure brings. We may have failed an exam, experienced a failed marriage, fired from work, and the pain and humiliation persist. At this point, seeing how our lives can be of any use to God would be a struggle. I have seen the following work in my life:
- Hear God:
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” – Romans 10:17 NKJV
The more we hear God for ourselves, from the place of relationship, the more our faith grows. I can testify that I have survived some tough times because He sent me the word in season, and that kept me alive and thriving. Ask Him to teach you to walk with Him daily, and you will grow.
- Ask for wisdom:
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” – James 1:5 NKJV
“Through wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established; By knowledge the rooms are filled With all precious and pleasant riches.” – Proverbs 24:3-4 NKJV
I love the second verse from Proverbs and pray it for myself as often as I can. God has blessed us with these spiritual blessings in Christ; all we need to do is ask. I believe that by His Spirit, God will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert for his people. Now is the time of grace, ask, and you shall receive.
- Fellowship with the saints:
“And let us consider one another to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” – Hebrews 10:24-25 NKJV
The times are evil, and we need each other now more than ever. We need to pray for one another and stay connected. Don’t stay away from people when you are passing through the low times in your life, find your family in Christ (if you don’t have one, ask the Holy Spirit by faith, He will direct you). We all need encouragement, a shoulder to lay our heads or cry on, hugs to make us feel safe. The joy of fellowship cannot be over-emphasized; we all need love and support.
- Daily insight on the way to go:
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.” – Psalms 32:8 NKJV
As we walk with the Holy Spirit, He will teach us the way and will guide us on it. As we lean on Him in everything, He will guide us from the point of failure to the expected end God has for us.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV
Till next time, be transformed!!