The Power of Failing – Embracing the Process

September 2, 2011 — Leave a comment

Success Through Failure               “There is no failure. Only feedback. “~ Robert Allen

(Excerpt from the book “Bible Based Businesses – Biblical Principles for Success in Business and Life” by Jeff Testerman at Amazon)

One of my favorite stories is of a man named Sparky. In 8th grade, Sparky flunked every single class. He was the worst physics student in the history of his high school. He flunked it with a zero. He also flunked English, Latin, and Algebra. He tried out for the high school golf team, but at the most important match of the year, he lost.

Sparky was very awkward with people when he was young. People just seemed to look past him and not see him. He was neither popular nor unpopular; he was just almost not there. Throughout his entire junior high and high school career, he never had a single date. Everybody thought he was a loser.

Sparky thought he was good at drawing, but nobody else thought he was. In his senior year of high school, he gave some cartoons to the high school yearbook but they rejected them. He still thought he was pretty good, so he tried to become a professional artist. He wrote to Walt Disney studios and they wrote him back asking him to make a cartoon out of his subject, to send it to them, and they would take a look at it. He did what they asked. The reply he got from Disney Studios was, “Sorry, it won’t work.”

Then he wrote an autobiography.

He made a biography of himself in cartoons and in these cartoons, he called himself Charlie Brown. Yes, “Sparky” became known to the world as Charles Schulz. He succeeded beyond anyone’s or even his own wildest imagination. He failed himself to success.

More often than not God’s path to both kinds of success, that is, success in His eyes and success in the eyes of the world is through failure. God can take our failures and use them to build great things that will bless many people.

We see this process over and over again in the examples of the scriptures, whether it be the life of David, Moses, Jesus, or Joseph. Let’s take a look at the life of Joseph to see how God promotes and builds prosperity of soul.

Joseph had a vision. He had a dream that clearly showed him God’s purpose for his life. The dream ignited in his heart the passion for what God had called him to.

It begins with the discovery of the call, the passion, the vision that God has put within us.

Then we’re tested. Difficulties arise, things go wrong, and our well laid plans are interrupted. We need to be tested to see what kind of response we’ll have.

There are a lot of ways that we can be tested, but it’s usually an interruption of the path that we thought we should be on.

The interruption could have been caused by our bad choices or it could be caused by circumstances beyond our control.

Our Response

How should we respond in the midst of the test?

1. Give thanks. James 1:2 tells us to count it all joy when we encounter various trials and tests. These tests become the building blocks for our future successes.

2. Ask yourself, “What kind of skills can I develop and learn in this test? How can I develop natural, practical skills, and how can I develop my character skills?”

3. Acknowledge that God is good. We may even turn to God and say, “God, I don’t understand what’s going on. It doesn’t make sense to me. But I know that You are good. I know that You are faithful. I know that Your ways are above my ways and so I will choose to respond in obedience with the right attitude and a right heart.”

“I’m hurting inside, my emotions are trying to get control of me, but I will choose the right response, according to your word, according to your nature, according to your spirit. I will give thanks in all things.”

As we respond correctly to these tests, then we’ll receive blessing and relief. Things will improve and we’ll think:”Wow! This is great!”

But then we’ll go back into another test. It’s the process that God puts us through so that we might become mature and complete. The key to passing the test is how we respond in the midst of them.

Ongoing process

This process continues throughout our lives.  We’re tested. We receive blessing. We’re tested. We receive blessing. We’re tested. We receive blessing. Remember that the testing period prepares you for what God has prepared for you. When we’re ready on the inside, then we’re ready for God’s sudden promotion on the outside.

If we’re blessed too soon, before we’re prepared, that blessing will crush and hurt us. We must be prepared inwardly first of all so that we can handle all that God wants to bless us with outwardly.

We rejoice, therefore, when we encounter trials because we know that God is preparing us for something special. We choose to rejoice when these trials want to overwhelm, crush, or emotionally drain us. We can still rejoice because we know that God is preparing something special in the midst of these trials.

Stop right now and offer up praise and thanks to God for the process He has you in. With the eyes of faith see past this current failure or trial and be thankful.

And this takes us into the next principle the power of diligence.

Jeff

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