Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Reasons for Failures

Chuckle: “What should you do when you see an endangered animal eating an endangered plant.  --George Carlin
Quote: "Jesus will not overlook your shortcomings or simply encourage you to do better the next time. He will give you victory in the midst of your failure." --Henry Blackaby
Simon answered, "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets" (Luke 5:5 NIV). Simon and the other fishermen had failed to catch fish after trying all night long. But when they obeyed Jesus and let down their nets where He directed, they caught so many fish that their nets were torn. As we think about ways we fail our Lord, ourselves, and each other, let's consider some reasons we do so.
First, We fail because we don't plan for victory. "A sensible man watches for problems ahead and prepares to meet them. The simple minded man never looks (ahead) and suffers the consequences" (Proverbs 27:12 TLB). To fail to plan is to plan to fail. When we don't see the future with God's vision and direction, we fail. Success comes when God's plans become our own.
Second, we fail because we give up too soon. "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." (Galatians 6:9 NIV). We may want to throw in the towel and say, "I just can't study the Bible and pray every day -- I just can't be a witness for Christ." The path of least resistance usually leads to failure. Thomas Edison tried 200 different ways to make an incandescent light bulb before succeeding. He saw this as an education process -- he had learned 200 ways that didn't work and one way that did.
We learn through our failures if we will only let God teach us. If we reject God and go our own way to failure, the lessons learned are often painful. I'm still learning -- but God says, "Don't give up -- don't quit -- keep at it." The neat thing about a postage stamp is that it sticks to one thing all the way to its destination. God always sticks with us and helps us to be victorious.
Third, we fail because we're afraid to take risks. "Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but to trust the Lord means safety" (Proverbs 29:25 NIV). We're often afraid to take risks. "Lord, I hate my job, but I need the money -- I can't risk changing." But, God says, "Here's what I want you do and I'll be with you." We say we can't step out in faith -- God says you can, with His strength. "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength" (Philippians 4:13: NIV). The greatest failure is not trying -- failure to step out in faith. Often, we're afraid of what people might think. Fearing the opinions of others is a trap which keeps us from stepping out in faith, but trusting God gives victory and safety.
Fourth, we fail because we go our way rather than God's way. "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death" (Proverbs 14:12 NIV). By our actions, we say our ways are better than what God wants for us. It's my selfish, egotistical, stubborn way that leads to failure, defeat, and disappointment. "We all, like sheep, have gone astray; each of us has turned to his own way" Isaiah 53:6 NIV). God's way leads to success, but our inclinations are often the opposite of what God says. God says, "My ways are not your ways; my thoughts are not your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:8 NIV).
If you are in the midst of defeat and failure in some area of your life, God wants to give you victory and will do so if you turn to him and his Word for answers.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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