When You Fail

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. – 1 Corinthians 13:8.

It was not until I was in my thirties that my Dad told me about one of his failures that had happened when he was a little boy. He failed the first grade when he was a boy and had to repeat the grade. However, he passed the first grade successfully the second time. When telling me the story my Dad gave to me a toy hatchet that his first grade teacher had given to him as a reward for successfully completing his first grade studies. That little hatchet has become a symbol for me that you can come back from failure and that is what I think of whenever I see the little hatchet or think of the story.

As we talked about previously Peter failed Jesus in denying Him (Matthew 26) but he was not the only one. All of the disciples turned away at the prospect of their experiencing crucifixion as Jesus did. However, their failure was not the end of the story. We know that all of the disciples except for Judas came back and served their Lord in mighty ways. Peter became the powerful preacher on the day of Pentecost confronting the Jews with the truth about Jesus. All of the remaining disciples except for John experienced martyrdom for their faith according to tradition. John experienced his own form of martyrdom through his difficult exile on the Isle of Patmos.

The fact is that we have all sinned (Romans 3:23) and we have all turned our own way (Isaiah 53:6) which means we have failed and in our own way denied the will of God in our lives. Although we too have failed that does not have to be the end of the story. The disciples found out that God’s love never ends and that His love can overwhelm and change failure into success. Instead of turning away from God when you fail this is the time when you need Him most and this is the time when He can surround you with His arms of love and restore you just as He did the disciples.

When you fail remember that you have an advocate at the right hand of the Father (1 John 2:1) who is interceding for you. Jesus Himself is knocking at the door of your heart (Revelation 3:20) when you fail and He wants to come in and through His eternal love restore you to Himself. Ask Him to come in, confess your sins (1 John 1:9) and receive His forgiveness and cleansing. Remember even though we may fail Him – His love will never fail us.

(What you should do when you fail at the Christian life.)

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