The marriage that was supposed to be forever, that was supposed to bring joy and gladness and fulfillment to you, turns into a disaster and ends in divorce.
The presentation that should have earned you an expected promotion bombs, and now you are wondering if your position in the company will remain.
The promise you made to God regarding a certain habit has been broken, and now you find yourself wondering if he could ever really forgive you.
All of us know what it is like to fail; we've all had experience in it. It is not fun.
Failure affects us in adverse ways. It destroys our confidence. It discourages our efforts. It erodes our self image. It's embarrassing, humiliating and can produce in us an attitude of defeat; an attitude of "Why even try? I'll only mess it up anyway."
Let's look at this subject of failure. The marvelous truth of the Bible, from cover to cover is that failure does not have to be fatal. Malcolm Muggeridge observed "Christianity from Golgotha onwards, has been the sanctification of failure" And Zig Ziglar reminds us, "Failure is an event, not a person. Yesterday ended last night"
One of the devil's most effective lies is to get us believing that we are failures; he gets us to look at our mistakes and personalize them. Don't fall for that lie. Failure is not a death blow to usefulness. Failure is a temporary condition not a permanent position for the believer. God is able to keep you from falling. That is his promise. Jude, verse 24, says, "God is strong and can help you not to fall. He can bring you before his glory without any wrong in you and can give you great joy" (NCV).
This promise doesn't mean that we won't stumble and fall. That we won't have set-backs and failures. Erwin Lutzer wrote, "Often the doorway to success is entered through the hallway of failure. Our sins are a forcible reminder of our need for God's grace; our weaknesses make us appreciate God's strength. An understanding of our frailty is the basis for a dynamic relationship with God."
How do we rise victorious when life gets us down? How do we overcome failure? I like the advice the great inventor Charles Kettering gives here. He suggested that we must learn to fail intelligently. He said, "Once you've failed, analyze the problem and find out why, because each failure is one more step leading up to the cathedral of success. The only time you don't want to fail is the last time you try."
Here are three suggestions for turning failure into success. Honestly face your defeats but never fake success. Exploit the failure; don't waste it. Learn all you can from it; every bitter experience can teach us something. Never use failure as an excuse for not trying again. Kettering reminds us, "You may not be able to reclaim the loss, undo the damage, or reverse the consequences, but you can make a new start - wiser, more sensitive, renewed by the Holy spirit, and more determined to do right."
Failure is not final; it is not fatal. God does not give up on us when we fail. The Bible says, "If the Lord delights in a man's way, he makes his steps firm; 24 though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand" (Ps 37:23-24 NIV).
There is no sin too deep, no stain too dark that God cannot forgive. Satan uses our failures to beat us down; God uses them to build us up. Which voice will you listen to today? God is well aware of our frailties and not surprised by our failures. Long before Adam and Eve were created, God had a plan to turn our failures into success. With a detailed knowledge of all the facts, God has provided a remedy for our failures - a remedy that will not fail - if we but lay hold of it.