Faith and Failure

Great sign II - PhotopinWe’re told there are two ‘inevitables’ in life: death and taxes.

In leading with your life as a follower of Christ, I think there are two other ‘inevitables’ as well: faith and failure.

Jesus thought so too. It is He who said to Peter –

But I have prayed for you.
I have prayed that your faith will hold firm and that you will recover from your failure
and become a source of strength for your brothers here.
Luke 22:32 – The Voice

Having recently come through Holy Week, consider with fresh imagination the scene that unfolded during the Last Supper –

And there arose also a dispute among them
as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest.

Luke 22:24 – NASB

Honestly! Twelve grown men arguing among themselves as to which one was regarded as ‘greatest’. They had spent the last three years living in close proximity with Jesus – and each other (no wonder they were arguing!) – with failure looming around the next corner while they lifted the cup to their lips. They wanted to lead with their life and apparently wanted to lead others’ lives as well with a title to prove it.

That it was grown men doesn’t let grown women off the hook. Women are prone to such theatrics too. In either camp, firm-holding faith doesn’t eliminate the potential for failure.

However, failure doesn’t eliminate the potential for recovering from it and becoming a source of strength in relationships both close and remote. Just ask Peter.

When it comes down to it, every failure impacts a relationship because failure in life involves people. Jesus experienced others’ failure toward Him up close and personal. He understands ‘we of little faith.’

Most of us have no desire to be known as ‘failure experts’. Peter sure didn’t, evidenced by his push back.

Still, there are times the Lord’s heart is to encourage the one who is going to fail before they do so.

Out of the bunch, He specifically spoke to Peter and told him four things:

  • I have prayed for you (for Peter then and for us now as promised in Hebrews 7:25)
  • I have prayed that your faith will hold firm (He knew Peter had faith; Peter needed to realize it)
  • I have prayed that you will recover from your failure (Jesus knew Peter would fail and recover)
  • I have prayed that you will become a source of strength to those closest, then in widening circles

Because Jesus prayed beforehand, Peter recovered afterward.

I’m so glad Jesus’ heart beats that way for I have had my share of relationship fails and could market an entire ‘failure expert’ line of mugs, buttons, and t-shirts. You too may relate.

No doubt Peter, disciple turned apostle, garnered into his barn of wisdom a heap of lessons learned as a result of becoming a ‘failure expert’. From that point on Peter did lead with his life, as a recovery expert.

Don’t fear becoming a ‘failure expert’ and allow it to paralyze you from learning to lead with your life.

Learn to lead your own life well by recovering from your failure for Jesus has prayed for you.

There is nothing more beautiful to Jesus than to see His prayer to His Father answered in and through you, His younger brother and sister.

He knows there is a source of strength to be found in those who recover from their failure. All because they have come to know through recovery that their source is Him. The One who prayed for firm faith to remain before they ever wiped the fruit of the vine from their lips and promptly went out and failed.

Faith and failure. The war has already been won so you may win your battle. If you are one who feels like a ‘failure expert’ I join Jesus in praying that you recover well.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Hebrews 11:1

As always, I invite you to connect with me here if I may be of help and encouragement to you.

~ Nancy

Photo credit: Austerity via photopin (license)

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