“He….encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord.” Acts 11:23
Failure Is An Event – Not A Person!
VI. During times of failure we must not forget the purpose of our call
Note: Times of failure are gentle reminders to reexamine our call, renew our commitment, stop having pity parties and remember that failure is not a person – it is an event! From time to time it is very important for us to truly examine our hearts and be reminded of our call to ministry. In each of the lives of these three men who sensed failure and wanted to quit, “The Word of the Lord came…..” This is why it is so important for us to stay in the Word of God. God’s instruction to Moses was “Go teach….” – to Elijah, “Go touch….” and to Jonah, “Go tell…” This is about as simple as it can be explained. In fact, if I am not mistaken, this is basically, in reverse order, the Great Commission!
1. MOSES: Numbers 11:16 – “And the Lord said unto Moses, gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee.” Feelings of failure should never interfere with our teaching and training of others to help in ministry!
2. ELIJAH: I kings 19:15-16 – “And the Lord said unto him (Elijah), Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus….and anoint…Elisha….to be prophet in thy room.” Feelings of failure should never interfere with our touching lives for the glory of God! Pouring yourself into the lives of a few will cure you of pouting because of the many!
3. JONAH: Jonah 3:1-2 – “And the Word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time, saying, arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I Mid thee.” Feelings of failure should never interfere with our telling people about Jesus!
God doesn’t want His star players on the bench because of feelings of failure. Failure is an event…we must look at it that way. We must keep recommitting ourselves to the call of God in our lives because there is just too much telling, touching, and teaching that still needs to be done!
CONCLUSION – Helpful Hints For Desperate Times
Note: Feelings of failure have been around for as long as sin but the Scriptures have been around forever (Psalm 119:89). Richard Halverson once said, “It is not failing that is the problem; it is what one does after he has failed!” Following are some of the Scriptures that have helped me in such desperate times. Maybe they will help you.
1. His prayer support: And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you are returned to Me strengthen your brethren.” Luke 22:32.
2. His provision: “Many are the afflictions (failures) of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.” Psalm 34:19
3. His presence: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the LORD your God….” Isaiah 43:2-3
4. His power: “Now unto Him that is ABLE to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever.” Jude 24-25 Amen? Amen!
Failure is an event – not a person! Failure is not sweet, but it need not be bitter!
Maynard H. Belt
Mich. Assoc. of Regular Baptist Churches