When things don’t go as we’ve planned and worked for and it looks like we have made a big mistake it is very easy to start to feel like a failure, and that nothing has worked out for us.
However I have discovered an important discovery from my so-called failures, which is that they can actually be the making of us. We can in fact call the times when we’ve fail and are forced to shift into another gear and take another tact; where we’ve had to lean into Jesus to survive, finding ourselves in need of more wisdom and clarity to know what to do next – “Failing Up”.
The seasons where I have been most confused and have been hurting the most are the seasons where God has in actual fact caused me to step up into another place and a greater connection and relationship with Him. To survive and keep moving forward I’ve had to be really honest, open and vulnerable to God and get to the point where I’m no longer leaning on my strength and wisdom but His. Which is why we ‘fail up” – we may have failed in our strength and ability, but in doing so we get the opportunity to step up into a new realm of possibilities with Jesus. The truth is that unless we’ve “failed” in some way we probably would never have recognised how much we all can do things in our strength, when in actual fact Jesus wants us to do all things in His strength – that there would be less of us and our ability, and more of Him and His ability and power working in and through us.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
So today I want to encourage all those who feel they are or have failed. For those who have studied and then realised they don’t want to do the job they’ve trained for; for those who stepped out and did something and it didn’t work out as planned; for those who put it all on the line and believed for great things and then achieved little; for those who have a dream and it hasn’t come to pass yet; my advice would be “Fail Up”.
For sometimes our so called failures are in fact God rescuing us from ourselves and our choices; or perhaps we needed to step out and do something that stretched us so we could learn a new skill or overcome a fear. Even though things might not have worked out as we initially planned we now know how to do new things; we’ve overcome a fear or inadequacy, and we’ve increased our skills, which is never a bad thing, and in God’s hands will never be wasted. Other times we quite simply have to make a choice; do we allow our so called failures to limit us and be the stick we use to beat ourselves up over, or do we take our disappointments to God and trust Him to make something good out of them, just as He has promised.
“And we know that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
Today I recommend the latter, and for you to take what you have learnt and achieved; have believed for; have studied and worked at (regardless of whether you or others believe you have failed or not) to Jesus and ask Him to show you what to do next. For you to go up, not down, to look heavenward instead of back, and to start to focus upon the next stage in your life, being newly equipped with what you have learnt from your experiences as you lean into Jesus and Fail Up!
Prayer: Lord thank you that the things that we think could break us in actual fact in your loving hands can be the making of us. Help me to trust you today to take my life and to do something amazing with it. I choose to “fail up” into you today. In Jesus Name Amen.