How do we move forward from failure? Yesterday I had one of those days when nothing I attempted seemed to succeed. I failed other people; I forgot a commitment; I couldn’t fix a computer problem; I even botched a conversation with technical support, so that they didn’t help.
After a day like that, I’m tempted to enter today in a very bad mood, sullen and discouraged. The Bible offers at least two truths that help me keep moving forward after failure. First, God has promised that all things will work together for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28). That “all things” must include my failures. God uses even my failures for my immediate and lasting, eternal good. Even my failures are caught up in preparing for me “an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 4:17). God must be really good if he can do that.
Second, God has revealed himself to be all-powerful. What he plans to do, he accomplishes (Psalm 115:3; 135:6). No one and nothing can hinder him (Isaiah 14:24, 27; Job 42:2). He never fails. Some have a hard time believing that God can be all-powerful and all-good, given the extensive suffering we experience and observe in this world. Even my crummy day could move me to question whether he actually cares about me or whether he somehow couldn’t help me. Yet, I don’t.
Why not? Because I see God’s love and goodness displayed most clearly in Jesus (Romans 5:8). And I see God’s power displayed most clearly in Jesus, even in his weakness, suffering, and death. God could’ve sent angelic armies to rescue his Son from suffering (Matthew 26:53). But he didn’t. Jesus himself could’ve revealed his veiled transcendent glory. But he didn’t. To my mind, that seems like a greater expression of power, all for the sake of love, to bring ultimate good out of ultimate evil. If he can do that, my failures don’t have to drown me. I know that even my worst failures will be turned for my good by my unfailing, all-powerful, all-good heavenly Father.
Mr. Justin Langley is Minister of Discipleship of Kilgore Bible Church in Kilgore. You can reach him through the congregation’s website: www.kilgorebiblechurch.org.