We have all failed and/or felt like a failure at one time or another in our lives. There have been times we wish we could get a do-over, take a mulligan, get a fresh start. Maybe you feel that way right now. Failures come in many shapes, sizes, and descriptions:

  • Financial failure
  • Business failure
  • Failed marriage(s)
  • Feeling like a failure as a parent
  • A broken or failed relationship of one kind or another
  • A lost job
  • Missed opportunities
  • Failed out of school
  • Didn’t get an education
  • Career mess-ups and misses

We can surrender to our failures — or we can surrender our failures to God. It’s our choice. How do we overcome our failures? How do we rebound and rise above? The story of Rahab in Joshua 2 is a powerful story of a woman who didn’t focus on her failure but instead chose to focus on her future. Here’s an important key in conquering failure: It matters how we choose!

You and I have a choice. We can either focus on our failure and allow it to define us and derail us. OR, we can focus on our future and know that God will forgive us and help us step up and rebound. One of the keys to overcoming failure is to get our minds right and have a godly perspective about failure. We must realize that our past failures do not have to define us or our futures.

How we think about and deal with failure is important. We can’t always choose what happens to us but we can always choose what happens in and through us. The Bible is full of people failing in one way or another, but it’s a powerful thing to see how many of them rebounded, overcame their failures, and literally conquered failure on their way to overcoming odds, taking risks, and reaching new heights. Consider a few Bible failures:

  • Adam & Eve: They chose poorly and were kicked out of the garden. REBOUNDED
  • Moses: He lost focus and was prohibited from entering the Promise Land. REBOUNDED
  • Samson: He compromised and lost his freedom – and his eyes. REBOUNDED
  • David: He committed adultery and murder but was later called “a man after God’s heart.” REBOUNDED
  • Judas: He betrayed Christ. He could have rebounded, but he chose not to.
  • Ananias and Sapphira: They lied and did not come clean when confronted with their sin. They could have rebounded, but chose not to.

My point? Failure is not final and does not have to be fatal. Keep your eyes on Christ and the future He has for you.

When facing “perceived” failure, we have a choice. Will we let it permanently destroy us? OR, will we face the failure with a conviction that it is only temporary and our future can be bright? Our failures don’t have to define us. We may have failed but we am not failures. Our failure is not who we are. We have a future – a good one! We need to check our mindset and get our minds right. How we think about failure and how we deal with failure is crucial. I choose for me. You choose for you.

We are not defined by our failure. God has a future for you and me, and wants to use us to be a blessing to others. Here’s a prayer we can all pray today as we conquer failure and overcome:

Lord, I’ve failed but I am not a failure. I’ve messed up but I’m not an impossible and permanent mess. I’ve lost but I’m not a loser. I’ve had a setback or a major breakdown but I can step up and start again. My adequacy is not in my inadequate self but in my all-sufficient Savior, Jesus Christ. I am redeemable. My past is redeemable. And my future is redeemable because Jesus is my redeemer. I choose to place my hope and trust in You. Amen.