The fear of failure in anything is real. However, fear can add a healthy tension between the need to step out on faith and facing the possibility of failure. It’s easier to handle failure when you are confident that love will be there no matter what. The more I grow in my understanding of God’s love for me the less I fear failure.
“I have won at a lot of things, but I have failed at much more. I have learned to embrace failure because failure has never failed to deliver me from something. Through failure I have learned to discard behavior and attitudes that no longer service me. I have learned to conquer fears. I have strengthened and matured. Failure has always brought me the gift needed to prepare me for the next win. And there is ALWAYS another win waiting for us on the horizon. Failure is not a curse, it’s an awakening” -Jada Pinkett Smith
The quote above really resonated with me and parallels what I have learned from the bible. I too have failed more than I have succeeded, and I mean epiclly. Each time I did, I too had to learn to discard behavior and attitudes because they were not righteous. Through my failures God never failed to deliver me from something. My failures have humbled me, shaped me, and made me stronger as He prepared me for the next win.
Ps 84: 11(ERV) “The Lord God is our protector and glorious king. He blesses us with kindness and honor. The Lord freely gives every good thing to those who do what is right.”
What I view as my epic failures are really nothing compared to God’s epic love and strength. It is the perspective in the passage above that allows me to learn from them. I serve a God who does not withhold any good thing. Therefore if there is something I do not get, I am called to trust that it is for my ultimate good. In each failure, big or small, there is a lesson. His lessons are my awakenings.
Eph 1:4-5 “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will”
To accept and understand God’s love for me is not easy. Fear is easier than faith. Fear and failure can ring more familiar. Accepting and embracing God’s love for me takes work. It is hard for me to truly internalize how much He loves and values me when I am being gripped by fear or uncertain of what’s next. This may be a fear of making the wrong decision, doing the wrong thing, hurting someone, or getting hurt myself.
Eph1: 18-19 “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you […], and his incomparably great power for us who believe.”
Paul confirms that it doesn’t come naturally. It takes work to understand my position in God’s eyes. Paul prayed for us to get it.
Eph3:18 “…grasp how wide, long, deep is the love of Christ.”
This means that even through the darkest pain or fear I can be confident in the one who holds me and will be there to pick up the pieces when I break, because I will break. We live in a broken world filled with people and circumstances that will break us. It’s a matter of how I chose to approach this reality. I can view it through the lens of fear and the possibility of failure, or through the lens of faith in love.
Every day we are bombarded by the world and our value is challenged. Am I good enough? Am I making the right decision? Will I repeat the same mistakes (my own or my parents)? Other people can be negative, critical, tear us down. The media, work, etc., it IS a daily battle to see ourselves as God sees us and to get our worth and value from him.
Pv29:25 “Every word of God proves true. He defends all who come to him for protection.”
Is 41:13 (NLT) “For I hold you by your right hand, I the Lord your God. And I say to you, don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.
The power and strength we get from God’s love is the ultimate power to change, serve, love, and see others needs above our own. It is also the power to take risks that are ultimately ‘safe’ because we know we are taking them in Him. Apart from him there are no guarantees. In His love there is a lifetime guarantee that we can fail while secure in his love. So I am embracing my opportunities to fail. I move in the tension between fear and faith and know that like Peter, when I fail I will fail big and publicly, but God will pick up the pieces and I will be better for it. The failures will prepare me for the ultimate victory.
Is43:18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell in the past. See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”