Saturday, October 29, 2005

Handling Adveristy - What to do when I fail?

What to do when I fail?

We know it all too well, but there are going to be times when we fail to act or behave in a way that a Christian should. Recall back to some of the details that were studied about the definition of trials. Peter tells us:

1Pe 4:12 Beloved, do not be astonished at the fiery trial happening among you for your testing, as if a surprise were occurring to you;

The problems we’re going to experience are going to feel like we’re being smelted like metal and experiencing intense heat in the process. That type of trial is going to feel very intense and making the right decisions and taking the right actions will be very challenging. We should not go through life expecting that we will fail but be realistic that failure will occur.

One of the traits of patience is perseverance. In the chapter of the book “Habits of a Loving Heart” dealing with perseverance it was observed that the difference between success and failure is often very small. You may find yourself in a situation and fail to succeed the first time, and maybe even the second or third time. The difference in success may be getting up and trying again the fourth time and finally succeeding. It takes character and strength to keep working at something that we’ve failed at in the past.

Fortunately for Christians we have a solution to our problem of failure resulting in sin in our lives. In 1 John it is written:

1Jo 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of His Son Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin.
1Jo 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
1Jo 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous that He may forgive us the sins, and may cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

We must keep in mind that the blessing of forgiveness does not provide a “license to sin”. This passage in 1 John highlights something extremely important to the Christian: walking in the light. A walk is a pattern of life that is pointed in a specific direction. For a Christian that means we walk in God’s truth in a direction towards Him and Heaven. We may sin as we move down the path but it is the blood of Jesus that cleanses us. However, when we sin we have a choice: either face and deal with our sin, repenting in order to stay in the light or ignore and flee into the darkness. It is when a person fails, sins, and then refuses to deal with the sin that a person begins walking in darkness. The failure then results in a separation from God and making the problem even worse.

1. Light

2. Repent


1. Peter is a very important character to examine in seeing a spiritual response to failure. What was his response immediately after betraying Jesus? What was he doing in the days that followed?

2. Contrast Peter with Judas Iscariot. What was Judas’ response immediately following his betrayal? What did Judas do in the days that followed?

3. David committed several sins in the course of events surrounding Bathsheba. How was he initially confronted with his failure? What did he do? What did he do when finally confronted by Nathan?

4. In conjunction with David’s sin, after this he is still called a man after God’s own heart. How and why is this said of him?

5. Jesus on many occasions spoke to individuals about their sins and spiritual failures. Provide some examples and then briefly explain how he dealt with them?

6. Read again James 1:1-5 and in your own words, explain how patience is so important in the face of failure, both your own and others.