WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
APRIL 15, 2021
TOPIC: DON’T LET THE FEAR OF FAILURE KEEP YOU FROM SUCCESS
BY T. O. BANSO
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7 New King James Version).
Suppose that very early morning when Mary Magdalene and two other women got to the tomb of Jesus they couldn’t go in to anoint His body with spice, because there was nobody to help them roll away the stone from the door of the tomb (Mark 16:1-3). Suppose the stern-looking guards drove them away from the entrance of the tomb. They would have wasted their time and money they had spent to buy the spices to anoint Jesus’ body. Their mission would have been a failure.
It is this kind of negative thinking that has stopped many people from making progress in life. The fear of failure has kept many from success. They think: suppose we fail. But suppose they succeed.
Don’t be afraid of failure. Truly, it was possible that these women wouldn’t accomplish their mission, but it was also possible they would. They chose to be positive. God came to their help. Before they got there, an angel of the LORD had rolled away the stone from the door of the tomb and sat on it (Matthew 28:2).
They and the other disciples of Jesus actually had no faith that Jesus would resurrect as He had said. That was why they came to anoint His dead body! But Jesus had risen. Even when they failed in their mission to anoint Jesus’ body, they succeeded in a big way! They were the first to know of His resurrection. The men, His disciples, were in hiding!
Don’t plan to fail in life or live your life to fail. But don’t let the fear that you may fail, keep you from success. Those who fail to take steps of faith because they may fail don’t succeed! Those who take steps of faith or take risks (as the world would say) may not always record favourable outcomes, but their faith in God will pay off eventually. The risk I am talking about is not a foolish adventure.
Failure is not a person; it’s an event. It is still possible to succeed in what one has failed before. People have failed examinations before but they passed after another attempt or other attempts. Boxers have lost their titles before and reclaimed them another time. Football teams have lost at home before and turned the table against their opponents by defeating them in away matches.
As it has been said, failure is not final. I remember this outstanding feat in the field of sports. In what is known in football history as the Miracle of Dammam, Nigeria’s U-20 football team came back from 4-0 to equalize in a quarter-final match against the USSR team at the 1989 FIFA World Youth Championship in Saudi Arabia. The Nigerian team scored four goals about 30 minutes to full-time and won the match on penalties. The team also won the next match but lost in the final. It was a historic perfomance. Don’t let the fear of failure keep you from success.
In Joshua 1, God stressed to Joshua repeatedly the need for him to be courageous in order to fulfill the assignment entrusted to him after the death of his master, Moses (verses 6, 7, 9). You, too, need to be strong and of good courage to fulfill your destiny. Don’t let fear of failure immobilize you and hinder you from entering your Promised Land. Don’t be afraid of the giants. Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh told the unbelieving Israelites who were afraid of the giants, “Only do not rebel against the LORD, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the LORD is with us. Do not fear them” (Numbers 14:9 New King James Version).
When God wanted to deliver the Israelites from the seven-year oppression of the Midianites, He raised Gideon as their deliverer. Gideon had an army of 32, 000 men. But God said the army was too large, lest Israel would vaunt themselves against God, saying their hands saved them. Therefore, He asked him to reduce their number by asking those who were fearful and trembling to return home. He must have been shocked when 22,000 departed, remaining only 10,000 men (Judges 7:2-3). That showed that Gideon was going to fight the war with fearful people in the majority. If He had won the war with these people, Gideon would have wrongly credited them with the success, not knowing that they were cowards but it was God who gave them victory. However, God even reduced the 10,000 soldiers to 300 because the people were still too many. He gave victory to Israel by them. Don’t let fear keep you from the success that God wants you to experience.
It is true that Peter walked on the sea and began to drown when he doubted, but he still walked on the sea again as Jesus caught him and they both walked into the boat (Matthew 14:30-32). Peter wasn’t a failure!
Matthew 17:14-16 records the failure of the disciples of Jesus to cast out a demon. It says, “And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying, ‘Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him’” (New King James Version). Jesus rebuked them for being faithless and healed the man’s son.
Nevertheless, the disciples didn’t remain at this level. They put that failure behind them and continued with Jesus in the ministry. They didn’t see themselves as failures. The Bible says of them later in the early church, “And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people” (Acts 5:12 New King James Version).
Also, Peter who had denied Jesus Christ three times later provided good leadership for the apostles after Jesus had restored him (Mark 14:66-72; Matthew 26:69-75; Luke 22:54-62; John 18:15-18,25-27; John 21:15-19). He preached a powerful message on the Day of Pentecost and 3,000 were saved (Acts 2:41). Failure for Peter was not final. It should not be for you.
The four lepers in Samaria said, “Why are we sitting here until we die? If we say, ‘We will enter the city,’ the famine is in the city, and we shall die there. And if we sit here, we die also. Now therefore, come, let us surrender to the army of the Syrians. If they keep us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall only die” (2 Kings 7:3-4 New King James Version).
These lepers took their lives in the hands and went to the camp of the Syrians. They discovered they had fled and ate to their satisfaction. They also saved the people of Samaria from hunger by informing them about what had happened.
2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (New King James Version). Don’t let the fear of failure keep you from success. Act upon the Word of God. Follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. Even if you make mistakes, God is bigger than your mistakes. He will work all things together for your good because you love Him and you are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
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: I rebuke the spirit of fear that wants to keep me from making progress in life. According to the Word of the LORD in Isaiah 54:4, I shall not fear, I will not be ashamed or disgraced; I shall not be put to shame. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. He will turn my past failures into success in Jesus’ name. God is working all things together for my good because I love Him and I am called according to His purpose.
(For about 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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