I want to take time to encourage those of you who are stuck in your past failures finding it hard to move forward. Right after a failure we feel inadequate; we feel unsure of ourselves. The number one thing that holds us back is the fear of failing again. We have all experienced this at one time or another. The fear of failing can be immobilizing. When we allow fear to stop our forward momentum, we will miss some great opportunities along the way and maybe delay the fulfillment of the purpose for which God has called us.
But have you considered that even if you fail, it isn’t final? What if I told you that most of the people you admire have failed in their pursuits? Walt Disney, the visionary/creator of Disneyland and Walt Disney World International, is likely the greatest animator of our time. He experienced his first known failure when he was fired from a job because his supervisor believed he lacked imagination and creativity. Yet today his legacy is world renowned. He didn’t allow that first failure to keep him down, and neither should we…even when we fail multiple times. In your failure, God can and will work all things together for your good as you submit yourself to Him.
In Genesis (chps.12-20), we read about Abraham and how he failed at least two times - majorly. But Abraham found success beyond his failures. Why? Because he obeyed God; because he trusted God completely; and because God had a specific purpose that Abraham needed to fulfill. As followers of Jesus Christ, we too have a purpose to fulfill. Like Abraham, God can and will look past our failures to bring about His plan for our lives.
Failure is a part of the human condition. Sometimes you’re going to get it right and sometimes, you’re not. What matters is how you incorporate God into your situation. There are times we believe God is telling us to do something and the fruit doesn’t bear out. That’s okay because God judges the thoughts and intents of our hearts, not the outcome.
After a failure, it’s easy to allow fear to keep you from doing anything. But refuse to be kept down. Don’t let fear paralyze you. The Bible says that fear has torment; it is crippling. [1 John 4:8] Simply take stock of what happened, learn from it and ask God for His guidance and wisdom as you move forward. Use it as a teachable moment.
Accept an accurate level of responsibility for your failure if you have willfully done something you know you shouldn’t have done. Then, ask God for forgiveness. Just as quickly as you repent, God will forgive you. Then, forgive yourself and move on. God is not going to hold it against you.
Visualize your success by faith and profess God’s Word in whatever endeavor you’re engaging in. Ultimately, you should commit your works and plans to the Lord and, according to Proverbs 16:3 (AMPC), He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and your plans will be established and succeed.
Failure isn’t final. There is life afterward. You simply need to be willing to get back up and keep going.