December 1, 2021

Living Beyond The Sting Of Failure


And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6

It’s devastating to stumble just before you reach the finish line of a race. Others rush past you as you sit in the dirt and the prize slips away. Yet what we experience as defeat can still serve God’s purpose.

Perhaps you value and want to achieve a high level of schooling. It’s an exciting accomplishment to reach educational milestones. But schooling doesn’t always go according to plan – war, health, money and family needs have cut many educational dreams short. What good is an unfinished grade or diploma or degree, a crushed student may ask?

A miraculous thing about our God is that He doesn’t count what we deem unfinished as failure. God’s purpose for our lives is rarely measured by paperwork, awards, raises, or finished projects. Jesus put our purpose quite plainly: “Love God and love your neighbor” (Matthew 22:36-40).

Does that the prize you’ve set your eyes on benefit your family or community? If loving God and loving others is your daily practice, you are serving God’s purpose, no matter whether you stumble or finish the race as you imagined it or not.

God’s purpose for our lives and our careful diligence to work out that purpose can take many shapes over time. When we believe that God will finish His work within us as He promises to (Philippians 1:6), even our defeats and disappointments no longer have the sting of failure. God sees your heart and treasures His purpose for you, even if that doesn’t include a material prize.


Resource reading: Hebrews 12:1-2