Failure. It happens to everyone. Young or old, rich or poor, new Christian or seasoned Saint, there is no one who doesn’t find themselves humbled and grieved because of their own failure or the failure of someone they love. However, there is great hope. For the true child of God who has a real relationship with Him through Jesus Christ, failure is NEVER final. There are five reasons for this, and they are all wrapped up in the person and work of God through His Son Jesus Christ.
1. Failure is never final for the Christian because of His precious blood. Jesus died by shedding His sinless blood so that He could be the substitute for us. Christ took the wrath of God His Father upon Himself so that we could be forgiven. Because of this sacrifice, God promised restoration, cleansing, forgiveness, and mercy. Of course, Christians are already declared totally righteous for all eternity, but those of us who are believers still find ourselves in need of asking God’s forgiveness throughout this life. Our failures, accidental or purposeful, hinder our walk with God, and we need restoration, just as we do in earthly relationships when failure divides. 1 John 1:7-9 reminds us that “if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin.” John goes on to declare that if we try to hide or deny our failures, we are liars; but, if we confess our sin to him, He is faithful and just and will forgive our sin, bringing about greater holiness and restoration.
2. Failure is never final for the Christian because of His power. Ephesians 3:20 declares that we should thank and praise God because He is “able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” God has promised His power to help us sustain a godly life. Even when we feel totally defeated and discouraged, His power is greater and can do far above what we feel can be accomplished in and through us. In addition, 2 Peter 1:3 reminds us that God’s power is given to us so that we have everything we need to overcome failure and live a godly life. Yes, we fail, but God’s power never allows us to live consistently in a state of sinful failure. His power saves us from a life of failure!
3. Failure is never final for the Christian because of His punishing. In Hebrews 12, we are reminded that any true child of God who fails and then refuses to return to the Father will be pursued by God and disciplined, just as a loving father disciplines his children in order to draw them back to a right pattern of living.
4. Failure is never final for the Christian because of His plan. Romans 8:28-31 is encouraging, because God states that all things are working together to cause us to be more like Christ. Life is like a giant puzzle with infinite pieces, each of which is needed, and all of which come together to accomplish God’s plan. Some of those pieces even include our failures. God, although never responsible for our failures, mercifully allows our failures to strengthen us for the future and make us more conformed to the image of His Son. The book of Romans also reminds us that when sin increases and failure happens, grace always increases more and overcomes our failures (Romans 5:20). Knowing all this, even in the face of failure, we reach the same conclusion as the divinely inspired Apostle Paul. Writing in Romans 8:31-33, he states, “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifies.” If all that weren’t enough encouragement in the face of failure, we can also rely on this promise of God in Philippians 1:6: “Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” No, God is not ever going to leave His children helpless in a state of failure. He has promised to save us from (not in) our sinful failures (Matt. 1:21).
5. Failure is never final for the Christian because of His presence. Hebrews 13:5 gives us yet another promise for our failure: “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Often in failure we feel that God is angry and frustrated with us, and we may even feel forsaken or deserted by God. On the contrary, like the analogy of God our Father and the father in the story told by Jesus of the prodigal son in Luke 11:15-32, God eagerly awaits to forgive and restore us.
If you have failed and are discouraged, or if someone whom you love has failed, there is hope in Jesus Christ! Failure is never final for the Christian.