Failure Is Not an Option

Pastor DaronCrossLife Blog

Vince Lombardi barked it on the practice field the week before facing a formidable football opponent. 

School teachers perched at their podiums preach it to their overwhelmed students. 

Politicians hoping to become elected promise it to their contributors and campaign volunteers. 

“Failure is not an option!”

Okay, but the Green Bay Packers don’t always win. Some students don’t pass. Many political candidates haven’t been elected.

If you’re like me you can relate to that losing team, the student who should have done better, or the political candidate whose dream came crashing down. For you those magic words “Failure is not an option!” haven’t worked like they do in the movies and you’ve experienced your fair share of falling down, getting hurt, losing out like you never thought you would, or just plain making a terrible mistake you really regret. 

And here you thought that being a Christian changed something in your life so that you’d be more successful! Here you thought having God on your side really does make a positive difference! 

Well, if this is how God is going to let things turn out then why put up with all the hassle of religion at all – it’s just not worth it! Bottom line: God isn’t keeping up his end of the bargain! “I’ve failed and, God, it’s your fault!”

That’s how the Israelites felt after God told them he’d deliver them from Egypt into this wonderful, new Promised Land. Fathers, brothers, and sons killed in battle against pagan nations who don’t care about God. Forty extra years of wandering around in the wilderness before they could enter the Promised Land. The fun of fulfilling worldly passions being taken away by God’s countless laws. 

Yet King Solomon, standing in the new temple of the Lord before an assembly of Israelites, looks back at those years and preaches, “Not one word has failed of all the good promises [the Lord] gave through his servant Moses” (1 Kings 8:56)? What about the lives lost, the time lost, the luxury forgotten, the trouble experienced? Certainly King Solomon knew about all that, and yet his words rang true. 

Better than that is God’s own word itself when he promises, “My salvation will last forever, my righteousness will never fail” (Isaiah 51:6) and just as convincing is this promise, “If you make the Most High your dwelling … then no harm will befall you” (Psalm 91:9,10). 

What we may see as a failure God does not, like the baseball player who holds the record for career strikeouts but what he’s remembered for most of all is holding the record for career home runs (just google Babe Ruth). Not a failure at all. 

Abraham Lincoln had his share of setbacks but what history book would describe him as a failure? 

Faith sees the big picture. Faith trusts that the God who restored Adam and Eve, and delivered Daniel from the lion’s den, and raised his Son from the dead, and forgives our sins will not let us fail. He may teach us some difficult lessons along the way, but he’ll never leave us nor forsake us.

PRAYER: When my hopes fail me, Lord, then let my faith in your promises revive me. When my expectations of your work fail me, Lord, then let my faith in your wisdom restore me. When my feelings fail to inspire me, Lord, then let my faith in your truth encourage me. Too often I rely only on the earthly that I see instead of the eternal that I don’t see. Amen.

EVANGELISM ACTION: Google Babe Ruth or Abraham Lincoln, reading up on their successes in the midst of failures. History records these men as winners, not losers. So your friend who resists God because they have experienced hardships should take note. Believing in God means failing forward in faith. God will not fail.