Power to Triumph Over Failure

“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).

While some people proclaim they have no regrets about anything, they and we know that they do. Most people shy away from discussing the matter, but regrets can serve a valuable purpose, even several. They remind us of God’s patience with us, and His power to deliver us from our messes. They instruct us about things to avoid in the future, such as paths we took that we should have avoided. Finally, they point us to the cross and resurrection as guarantees of future blessing, despite our failures.

We cannot correct our problems through human measures alone, such as education, accumulating money, seeking fame, or some other human achievement. Only God can overcome our problems, and He chose to do so through the resurrection of Jesus Christ and all it brings.

When we trust Jesus Christ for salvation, He makes us a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), and He enables us to overcome the world with its evils and depressing failures (1 John 5:4-5). In fact, He assures us that He will provide the power to perform all that He commands us (Philippians 4:13), and will also supply all of our needs along the way (Philippians 4:19). Only the resurrection power of Jesus Christ can enable us to live victoriously.

Three Truths about Failure for the Believer

1. We should not be labeled by our failures.
Occasionally we see programs on TV that highlight famous failures, often in sports. Or we hear conversations about the greatest “chokes” in history. In Christ, we need not be labeled or defined by some past failure. He has cancelled out our past by nailing it to a cross (Colossians 2:14), and granted us sure victory through His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:57).

2. We should not be haunted by failure.
When we recall sins and mistakes of the past, it should drive us to the cross. The cross proclaims mercy while the resurrection proclaims victory. Do not replay in your mind the shortcomings of the past, nor allow them to haunt you. God has provided you with resurrection power to overcome them, along with wisdom to avoid future occurrences.

3. Failure is not final.
Some people write their epilogue before the second chapter. But they are mistaken. God normally takes a lifetime to mature us, often using failure as a catalyst to spur us to change. We see where we are, but then want to change. God transforms our messes into marches of victory.

Preachers conduct funeral sermons and speak comfort to the bereaved. But the Apostle Paul actually preached a sermon to the grave! He demanded that it prove its power:

“When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ ” (1 Corinthians 15:54-55).

Of course, the grave had no response. Through Christ, we have the victory over sin and death. Failures may instruct us, but they cannot define us. Christ has claimed us as His own; we belong to Him.

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