Courage for life Blog

Embracing God’s Grace Despite Failures

January 31, 2024

When you face difficult situations in life, do you think the trial or test is designed to expose your weaknesses and ultimately lead to your failure? This type of thinking is the opposite of why God allows trials and tests to come into your life. God wants you to succeed. God wants you to demonstrate your faith in Him. God doesn’t want you to fail.

At times, the fear of failure, not failure itself, can paralyze you. Your fear of failure can sabotage the joy, peace, and hope that comes from encountering, enduring, and overcoming life’s difficulties. God can use your perseverance through difficulties to strengthen your faith in Him. God is not limited by your failures or your fear of failure. Any past failures in your life and any current fears of failing can be countered by your faith in God and God’s grace in your life.

So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. Hebrews 4:14-16 (NLT)

God loves you and knows all your past failures and current fears. God also knows all your future failures and fears of which you are unaware. Yet, God continues to love you and desires to be in a relationship with you, allowing you to experience more and more of His grace in your life as you face difficulties.

I am writing to you who share the same precious faith we have. This faith was given to you because of the justice and fairness of Jesus Christ, our God and Savior. May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord. 2 Peter 1:1-2 (NLT)

However, you have an adversary in this life as well. Satan desires that you use your time, emotions, energy, and resources, living in fear of future failures and consumed with shame and regret for past failures. If Satan can use others in your life to distract, deter, and discourage you from receiving God’s forgiveness and full restoration after a failure, then Satan accomplishes his purpose, which is to kill, steal, and destroy the abundant life God provides for you through Jesus Christ (John 10:10).

Your past failures do not define you. Jesus’ forgiveness and restoration define you. Therefore, you can acknowledge your failures and fears to God and express godly sorrow and genuine repentance so that God will glorify Himself through your life.

Do you think the Scriptures have no meaning? They say that God is passionate that the spirit he has placed within us should be faithful to him. And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say,
“God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the humble.”
So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.
James 4:4-10 (NLT)

You may think this can’t be true. But God loves you, forgives your failures, fully restores your relationship with Him through faith in Jesus Christ, and desires your life to demonstrate to others that God is real, and you have faith in Him.

Consider the apostle Peter. Peter had many failures recorded in the Bible. Still, God was faithful to restore Peter not after one, two, or three failures but after every failure. In fact, Jesus tells Peter exactly how Peter will fail God, but Peter is self-confident that Jesus is wrong.

On the way, Jesus told them, “Tonight all of you will desert me. For the Scriptures say,
‘God will strike the Shepherd,
and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’
But after I have been raised from the dead, I will go ahead of you to Galilee and meet you there.” Peter declared, “Even if everyone else deserts you, I will never desert you.” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, Peter—this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.” “No!” Peter insisted. “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!” And all the other disciples vowed the same.
Matthew 26:31-35 (NLT)

The people who arrested Jesus took him to the home of Caiaphas, the high priest, and Peter followed at a distance. Peter then entered the high priest’s courtyard and sat with the guards, waiting to see what would happen to Jesus (reference Matthew 26:27-28). Just as Jesus had warned Peter, Peter denied Jesus.

Meanwhile, Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A servant girl came over and said to him, “You were one of those with Jesus the Galilean.” But Peter denied it in front of everyone. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said. Later, out by the gate, another servant girl noticed him and said to those standing around, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” Again Peter denied it, this time with an oath. “I don’t even know the man,” he said. A little later some of the other bystanders came over to Peter and said, “You must be one of them; we can tell by your Galilean accent.” Peter swore, “A curse on me if I’m lying—I don’t know the man!” And immediately the rooster crowed. Suddenly, Jesus’ words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And he went away, weeping bitterly. Matthew 26:69-75 (NLT)

Peter’s failures were not a surprise to God. Peter responded to this failure by going back to fishing (reference John 21:3). Fishing is what Peter knew, what he had the resources and skills to do, what he had success in the past, and what he did before following Jesus. But God desired more for Peter’s life. You can read John 21 to see how Jesus restores Peter and read Acts 2 for Peter’s preaching at Pentecost.

God loves you! God is willing to forgive you of any failures. Ask God for forgiveness and allow God to restore you.

But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 1 John 1:9 (NLT)

God has so much more for your life, so embrace the life God intended for you!

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