Failure Is Not Final

Failure is Not Final
Mary Southerland

Today's Truth
"At least there is hope for a tree. If it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail" (Job 14:7, NIV).

Friend to Friend
I have never met a single person whose goal in life was to fail but failure is a reality of life. The key to success is not avoiding failure; it is learning how to handle failure.

· Beethoven's music teacher once told him that he was a hopeless composer.

· Abraham Lincoln campaigned for a seat in the Illinois General Assembly and failed. He then opened a general store which failed after only a few months.

· Walt Disney was fired by the editor of a newspaper for lacking creativity.

· The Ford Motor Company was Henry Ford's third business. The first two didn't work out.

· A teacher told Thomas Edison that he was too stupid to learn anything.

· Babe Ruth struck out 1,330 times.

I remember the first time I failed a test. I was in first grade and my teacher, Mrs. Martin, decided to test us on the names of the states and their capitols. We had been studying them for what seemed like an eternity. I did not like Geography and tended to daydream my way through class. Why did I need to know the names of states I would probably never visit? And what was the big deal about state capitols? As far as I could tell from the pictures in my Geography book, they all looked pretty much the same to me - boring.

Even though I did not like Geography, I had to make 100 on the Geography test. Why? I was only six-years-old, but I knew the unspoken rule that failing a test meant I was a failure.

When Mrs. Martin told us to clear our desks except for one pencil, I panicked. A quick glance at the assignment board revealed nothing. The look of confusion on the faces of my classmates told me that they were just as clueless as I was.

"We are having a little test to see how you are doing in Geography," Mrs. Martin explained. I had three problems with her statement. First, there is no such thing as a "little" test. Second, no one had said anything about having a test, and third, I did not know the names of the states and their capitols. When I voiced my complaints, Mrs. Martin smiled and said it was a "pop quiz."

Sidebar: That might have been the moment when I decided to become an elementary school teacher, vowing to never subject my students to the terror of "pop quizzes."

My stomach dropped and I broke out in a cold sweat. My mind raced as I frantically searched for my Geography book. Maybe I could learn the names of a capitol or two while she handed out the tests. "No books allowed," Mrs. Martin warned. I was doomed.

When the blank outline of the United States appeared on my desk, I dissolved into tears. Mrs. Martin immediately dropped to her knees beside my desk and gathered me in her arms. She asked the student teacher to take over as she gently ushered me out of the classroom and in to the nurse's office next door.

When I finally stopped crying, Mrs. Martin said, "Honey, what is wrong?" I could not believe my ears. "I don't know the names of the states or their capitols," I wailed out what seemed to be a ridiculously obvious explanation. "Do you know some of them?" she asked. I thought for a moment. "I know some of them but not all of them and that means I'll fail the test," I responded. "Why don't you just do your best and see what happens," she said. I did my best ... and I still failed the test.

Guess what? The world kept spinning. I passed first grade and elementary school with flying colors, graduated from high school with honors, attended college on a music and academic scholarship and eventually became an elementary teacher. And I failed a lot along the way. So did a lot of people in the Bible. Adam and Eve blatantly disobeyed God and then lied about their sin. David committed adultery with Bathsheba and then plotted the murder of her husband. Peter bragged about his commitment to Jesus but denied Him - not once - but three times. In fact, it is hard to find Biblical characters who did not fail at some point, but those who learned from their failure and used it as a tool of growth were often used by God to accomplish great things.

I have come to believe that failure is a necessary part of our growth and maturity as a follower of Jesus Christ. Failure can interpret the unconditional love and forgiveness of God like nothing else can - if we let it. Desperation can be our friend if it makes us crave God and long to see His power unleashed in our lives. Failure is not final but God's grace is.

Let's Pray
Father, I come to You, imperfect and flawed, knowing that I have failed You. Forgive me for the sin in my life. Thank You for Your love and mercy that covers that sin. Help me learn the lesson that each failure holds and teach me how to apply that lesson in my daily life. I celebrate the hope and fresh start I find in You.

In Jesus' name,


Now It's Your Turn
Read Romans 8:28. "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (NIV). How does this verse apply to the way we view and respond to failure?

What failure are you facing today? Filter that failure through Romans 8:28 and look for the lesson and seed of victory it holds.

Read Job 14:7 (NIV) "At least there is hope for a tree: if it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail." How can you apply this verse to the failures in your life?

More from the Girlfriends
I love how God transforms tragedy into triumph ... failure into success. When we choose to see our mistakes and failures as opportunities for God to work, success takes on a whole new meaning.

Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 725
Matthews, NC 28106

Not There Yet
Bayless Conley

In Philippians 3:12-13, Paul gives us an important insight into becoming complete or mature in Christ,

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected (or complete); but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.

As believers, we must realize that we have a way to go. We have not arrived. There are still some things ahead. We still must press on.

But some people have the idea they have arrived. They don't need to grow anymore; they don't need to study anymore; they don't need to increase anymore.

It is like the true story of a young neighbor who was talking to Albert Einstein at a dinner party. She asked, "What is it exactly that you do as a profession?" Einstein looked at her and said, "I've devoted myself to the study of physics." And in shock she replied, "Studying physics at your age? I finished my studies a year ago!"

Unfortunately, that is the attitude many Christians have today about their spiritual growth. They think they have finished. Instead, our attitude should be like 95-year-old Pablo Casals, considered to be the greatest cellist that the world has ever known.

A young reporter asked him one day, "You're 95. The world considers you to be its greatest cellist; and still, at 95, you practice six hours a day. Why?" To which he responded, "Because I think I'm making progress."

Friend, you have not arrived. Set your goal to be making progress every day. That is how you will become mature in Christ.

Visit the Answers with Bayless Conley website for more ways to Connect with God

What Cancer Cannot Do

Pastor Adrian Rogers

"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39

What if you had an appointment with the doctor and found out that you had cancer? Maybe you have heard this news or heard it on behalf of a loved one. I want to tell you some things cancer cannot do. Cancer cannot shatter hope. Cancer cannot corrode faith. Cancer cannot eat away peace. Cancer cannot place a limit on eternal life. Cancer cannot quench the spirit of God and cancer cannot lessen the power of the resurrection. That's how limited cancer is!

Is there someone in your life that is suffering from cancer? Give them the Good News that you've read today. And pray that they will know the Savior.

For more from Love Worth Finding and Pastor Adrian Rogers, please visit

It is well with my soul ( Chris Rice )

"It Is Well with My Soul" is a very influential hymn penned by hymnist Horatio Spafford and composed by Philip Bliss.

This hymn was written after several traumatic events in Spafford’s life. The first was the death of his only son in 1871 at the age of four, shortly followed by the great Chicago Fire which ruined him financially (he had been a successful lawyer). Then in 1873, he had planned to travel to Europe with his family on the SS Ville du Havre, but sent the family ahead while he was delayed on business concerning zoning problems following the Great Chicago Fire. While crossing the Atlantic, the ship sank rapidly after a collision with a sailing ship, the Loch Earn, and all four of Spafford's daughters died. His wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram, "Saved alone." Shortly afterwards, as Spafford traveled to meet his grieving wife, he was inspired to write these words as his ship passed near where his daughters had died.

Bliss called his tune Ville du Havre, from the name of the stricken vessel.[1]

The Spaffords later had three more children, one of whom (a son) died in infancy. In 1881 the Spaffords, including baby Bertha and newborn Grace, set sail for Israel. The Spaffords moved to Jerusalem and helped found a group called the American Colony; its mission was to serve the poor. The colony later became the subject of the Nobel prize winning Jerusalem, by Swedish novelist Selma Lagerlöf. "

It Is Well With My Soul

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blessed assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

No comments:

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin