WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JULY 23, 2020
TOPIC: DON’T LET FAILURE STOP YOU
BY T. O. BANSO
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the LORD upholds him with His hand” (Psalm 37:23-24 New King James Version).
Archbishop of Dublin, Richard Whately (1787-1863), said, “He only is exempt from failures who makes no efforts.” Some people, because of the fear of failure, make no effort. Such people eventually become failures!
There’s nobody who has made efforts to do some things in life who has not failed at one time or the other. But to refuse to make efforts, because of the probability of failure, makes one huge failure.
Many have failed before and subsequently succeeded where they had failed. Some people like to give others the impression that they never failed before they succeeded. They hide their failures.
It has been rightly said that the road to success is paved with failure. Talking about one’s failure before one succeeded may encourage those facing challenges in the pursuit of their lives’ goals or fulfilling the purposes of God for their lives.
Don’t be afraid of failure. Never let your failure stop you. Forty years before God called Moses to go and deliver the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, he had been rejected by a fellow Hebrew (Exodus 2:13-14). His leadership potential was not appreciated.
Consequently, Moses fled Egypt over the murder of an Egyptian. However, when he returned forty years later, all Israelites submitted to his leadership, except for their usual murmuring. Moses became a great leader who led them from Egypt to the wilderness. He succeeded where he had failed before (Exodus 2:12-15; 3:7-22; 4:1-31).
In Numbers 14:5-10, Joshua’s attempt, as a tribal leader, to motivate the Israelites to go and possess the Promised Land failed. This was after the ten spies had given an evil report that discouraged the people. The people wanted to stone him and Caleb for encouraging them to go and possess the land of Canaan (Numbers 14:10). They would have killed them!
However, that was not the end of Joshua. That failure didn’t stop him. Years later, he succeeded Moses as the leader and successfully led the Israelites into the Promised Land. They didn’t stone him. His time had come and they submitted to him.
Hear what they told him after the LORD had commissioned him: “So they answered Joshua, saying, ‘All that you command us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. Just as we heeded Moses in all things, so we will heed you. Only the LORD your God be with you, as He was with Moses. Whoever rebels against your command and does not heed your words, in all that you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and of good courage’” (Joshua 1:16-18 New King James Version).
Nobody talked about stoning him again! Rather, they were ready to kill anyone among them who rebelled against him! You’re not a failure because you’ve failed. Rise from the ashes of your failure; extract the lessons from your failure.
Automotive giant, Henry Ford, said, “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” The psalmist says in Psalm 119:71, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes” (New King James Version). Learn from your failures, but don’t let them stop you.
Don’t let your failures discourage you from trying more. John Mark failed. He went on the first missionary journey with Barnabas and Paul as their assistant, but left them and returned to Jerusalem (Acts 13:5, 13). He wanted to go with them the second time, but Paul wouldn’t give him another chance.
The sharp disagreement led to the separation of Paul and Barnabas. Mark was Barnabas’ cousin, and he took him along to Cyprus while Paul went with Silas throughout Syria and Cilicia (Acts 15:36-41).
John Mark might have failed before, but he didn’t consider it his end in ministry. His failure was not final! John Mark pursued his ministerial call such that Paul who rejected him earlier sent for him later.
Apparently Paul and John Mark had reconciled and worked together in the ministry. Paul, writing to Timothy from prison, said, “Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry” (2 Timothy 4:11 New King James Version). Mark did not only work with Paul in the ministry, but he also worked with Peter. Peter referred to him as his son (1 Peter 5:13).
John Mark, in whose mother’s house, the disciples met when Herod Agrippa I put Peter in prison (Acts 12:12), didn’t allow his initial failure to stop him. He went ahead to write what is regarded as the first of the gospels, the book of Mark. Imagine the Bible without the book of Mark!
Suppose John Mark had allowed his failure to stop him; the church could have missed the book of Mark. John Mark is also believed to be the first evangelist to Egypt and the first bishop of Alexandria where he had founded churches. Don’t let failure stop you.
If you’re a child of God and you have stumbled or have even fallen, this shouldn’t be your end. Proverbs 24:16 says, “For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again, but the wicked shall fall by calamity” (New King James Version).
Similarly, Psalm 37:23-24 says, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the LORD upholds him with His hand” (New King James Version).
King Manasseh ruled Judah for 55 years; he reigned longer than any of her kings. Nevertheless, he did abominable things, including the murder of innocent people (2 Kings 21:1-18; 2 Chronicles 33:1-10). Because of this, the LORD allowed the Assyrians to take him prisoner and lead him away to Babylon. However, when he repented and cried to the LORD, he was restored to his throne.
Manasseh used well the second chance the LORD gave him. He was a changed person. He succeeded as a king where he had failed before (2 Chronicles 33:11-20). Zig Ziglar said, “It’s not how far you fall, but how high you bounce that counts.” Don’t let failure stop you.
In Matthew 17:14-16, the disciples of Jesus failed to cast out the demon in a boy. But that failure wasn’t permanent. It didn’t stop them. Later in Acts 2:43 and Acts 5:12, the Bible says that the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders.
Peter failed. He denied Jesus three times (Mark 14:66-72; Luke 22:54-62; John 18:25-27; Matthew 26:69-75). Apparently disappointed at himself despite his assurance not to desert or deny Jesus even if he had to die with him (Matthew 26:33, 35; Mark 14:29, 31), he went back to fishing, his former business (John 21:3).
However, that was not Peter’s end. After His resurrection, Jesus went after him. He reinstated Peter to the ministry (John 21:15-18). Peter provided leadership for the early church after the ascension of Jesus. In his sermon on the day of Pentecost, 3000 souls were saved. What a great comeback for Peter! And what a significant way for the church to start (Acts 2:14-41).
“Jeremiah, say to the people, ‘This is what the LORD says: When people fall down, don’t they get up again? When they start down the wrong road and discover their mistake, don’t they turn back?” (Jeremiah 8:4 new Living Translation). You may have failed, get up again! Don’t let it stop you from going ahead to succeed.
Put your faith in God and do well whatever you need to do. Psalm 145:14 says, “The LORD upholds all who fall, and raises up all who are bowed down” (New King James Version).
What you must do
1. Don’t deny your failure.
2. Don’t make excuses for failure.
3. Differentiate between your failure and yourself. Don’t see yourself as a failure because you failed.
4. Identify what you did wrong.
5. Extract lessons from your failure.
6. Establish what you can do to avoid a repeat.
7. Do the right thing and do things right.
8. Have faith in God. With God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26b; Mark 10:27b).
Micah 7:8a says, “Do not rejoice over me, my enemy; when I fall, I will arise” (New King James Version). You’ll arise in Jesus’ name. You’ll succeed. The LORD shall uphold you with His righteous hand (Isaiah 41:10).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: My enemies won’t rejoice over me; I will arise in the name of Jesus. I shall not fear for the LORD is with me. I shall not be dismayed, for the LORD is my God. He will strengthen me; He will help me and uphold me with His righteous right hand. Failure shall not stop me. I shall succeed in Jesus’ name.
(For over 300 in-depth and powerful messages by T.O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947