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Rising Above

God, I have messed up, missed the mark, downright failed.
Help me learn from my mistakes and rise above –
so that I see and experience victory – even in my failures.

Series Focus: “Resurrecting Hope in the Midst of Life’s Storms”

I did it. I really messed up this time. Everyone will know. I’m so embarrassed. Ashamed. What will people think? How can I face them? What will I do now?

Failure is never easy. And it’s especially devastating when ‘everyone’ seems to know about it…or hear about it. We think everyone will have an opinion, and it won’t be favorable. Mortified, we disconnect from everything and sink into a pit of covering darkness, attempting to hide away from the glaring judgments of the entire world.

The schoolyard, our workplace, our peers, and society-in-general, recite the same theme throughout our lifetime: Failure disqualifies us, stigmatizes us, and determines our negative future. Lies! Why do we allow the world to dictate the future outcome of our present circumstances?

Every single person on the face of the earth experiences failure. None are immune to its occurrence. Even still, we all have probably been proverbially “kicked while we are down” – suffering in the byproducts of our mistakes. This creates a completely negative experience with failure, and poses a plethora of by-products as a result, including, but not limited to: anxiety, depression, stagnation, isolation, defeat, and so much more.

This is NOT what God intended in our failures! Failing should not be a negative experience, but a positive one that propels us into a greater place of success as we learn how better to fulfill our purpose and destiny in the earth.

Our failures are usually an exploit of our weaknesses; lack of preparation; a deficit in knowledge, strength, ability, and/or endurance; or the manifestation of a weakness in our character. Sometimes, the appearance of failure is simply due to the skewed perceptions someone assumes of our ability, or unforeseen circumstances that present the illusion of failure because things just didn’t “stack up right” for us in the given situation.

No matter the cause, failure is not a negative occurrence. Regardless of the detrimental spin our culture puts on it, failure creates a closer step to success! Failure proves what does not work and helps us determine more accurately what does work. Mistakes show us how NOT to approach a situation, and provide us with knowledge on how to better respond in similar situations in the future. Much can be gained by our marked failures.

You’ve probably heard of the failures of Thomas Edison, Micheal Jordan, and other successful people. Each rose above failures time after time until they reached the goal, achieved the mission, made the mark. Throughout the Bible, we learn of many who made mistakes and failed. Yet, God still had plans for them and fulfilled purpose through them.  

Moses killed an Egyptian because of the beating the slave-driver imposed on a Hebrew man. Moses fled in panic as a result of his graven failure. Yet God met him in the desert place and still used him to lead the Hebrew people out of the bondage from the Egyptians (Exodus 2, 3). David, the King and Psalmist, had an affair and suffered great affliction as a result. Yet, God still used David and his future offspring to propel His purpose and Kingdom (2 Samuel 11, 12). Peter denied knowing Christ three times, yet Jesus restored him to a right relationship and used him to expand the Gospel (John 18, 21). Story after story in the Bible tells us of imperfect people whom God forgave, restored, and used to fulfill His purpose.

Why would we think we are any different? God can use our failures – heal us, restore us, and position us – to still be effective in the expanse of His Kingdom and the full expression of His love in the earth. We often take on the burden of our failure, our sin, our falling short, our mistakes – replaying them in our minds over and over again, and disqualifying ourselves because we know the depths of what we have done and left undone. But in that, we truly enter a place of pride and self-sufficiency – as if we determine our purpose, our ability, and our destiny.

God has created each one of us on purpose, to fulfill His purpose. He has created us unto good works – meaning He has a plan and a purpose for each one of us to perform. He knows we are imperfect vessels who will make mistakes. He doesn’t expect perfection from us – so WHY do we expect perfection from ourselves?? …or from anyone else, for that matter… Scripture tells us:

…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. (Romans 3:23-25)

But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Failures don’t determine the end of a matter. They provide a stepping stone to success – a learning experience to overcome – the knowledge and understanding of what doesn’t work so that we can better know what does work. When we fail to prepare or make a graven mistake – there is forgiveness and restoration. Our failures don’t disqualify us. They propel us into a position of qualifying us – not because we messed up, but because we repent,  learn what is not right and does not work, and rise up to try again.

If you are battling the storm of failures and feeling tormented by its torrential effects, be encouraged today. God is not done with you yet. Repent. Listen for His leading and instruction as you be still in His presence. Learn. Take note of the details. God is with you to be a help, a comfort, and a strength to you. His plan for you is good and His hope for your future is bright. Trust Him. Rise up. Begin again. Step into His victory. Fulfill your destiny!

Holding Fast to Hope,

Scripture References: Exodus 2-3; 2 Samuel 11-12; John 10:10, 18, 21; Romans 3:23-25; 2 Corinthians 5:17, 12:9; Jeremiah 15:19; 29:11; Acts 3:19; Ephesians 2:10; Proverbs 3:5-6


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