I am very competitive and a sore loser. I truly believed, like many of us, that failure was not an option. My failures have always taken a toll on me, but only recently have I seen how the Lord views my failures, and ultimately how he redeems them.
But before I could ever be “…glad to boast about my weaknesses…” (2 Corinthians 12:9, NLT), I had to first fully understand what the Apostle Paul said to the Church in Ephesus about salvation, specifically, that “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it (Ephesians 2:8-9, NLT).
We have to understand that it is simply by God’s grace that we have been saved. The Bible has made it clear, “everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard” (Romans 3:23, NLT) and “not a single person on earth is always good and never sins.” (Ecclesiastes 7:20, NLT) David even went as far as to say, “For I was born a sinner— yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.” (Psalm 51:5, NLT)
So if we first understand that we are all sinful and that “…no one does good, not a single one!” (Psalm 53:3, NLT), and furthermore, that is by God’s grace alone that we have been saved, then we can simply assume or understand that we will have failures. No doubt about it, they will come, and frequently too.
But here is the thing: God will still continue to love His children and extend His grace to them, even as we continuously rebel against God and experience failures in this life. If the God of the universe can look at His ransomed children and still love them in spite of their failures, then our response to our failures should be to look to God who “is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much,” (Ephesians 2:4, NLT) that we can see it was “from his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another” (John 1:16, NLT).
John Piper spoke on this on his DesiringGod website, he said, “We can pray that our failures not only leave us content in Christ, but that Christ uses them to wonderfully advance his cause and produce successes that we couldn’t have had if we had been more successful by overcoming our weaknesses.”
So take heart, embrace your failures, commit them to Christ, and pray that He would now use them for His glory!