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What does the Bible teach about failure?

We can be very discouraged when we fail. However, God understands how we feel and He speaks about failure in His word.

Proverbs 24:16 says “though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again”. This tells us that anyone can fail in the things that they do (even those right with God), but the important thing is that he gets up and keeps on going.

Sometimes we feel terrible about our failure and believe that we cannot keep going, but Psalm 34:18 says “The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit”. We are never alone when we fail for our God is the God of the broken-hearted, the fallen and the lost.

Psalm 40:2-3 tells us “He (the Lord) lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God”. These verses teach us that God wants to help us to stand up when we fall. He rebuilds our broken foundations and gives us new hope for the future.

The Bible shows us that there is always a way forward with God. Romans 8:28 the apostle Paul assures us that “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”. In Philippians 4:13 he says “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength” and in 4:19 “and my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus”. Paul often struggled and endured many difficulties (2 Corinthians 11:16-33) and through these difficult times he learned that everything was achievable with God’s help.

When we fail we do not despair because our God is with us, He lifts us up and sets our feet on firm ground again, He gives us hope for the future, shows us the way ahead and gives us all we need to help us progress on the journey.

All scripture quotations from NIV84