“I feel like a failure.”
Have you thought or said those words? I have.
Perhaps you feel like a failure in the area of parenting or marriage or your job or ministry or some endeavor you took on. When I start to have those thoughts of being a failure, I get discouraged and want to quit.
Sometimes, it’s true that we have failed. Other times, it’s just lies from Satan, who would love to get us to give up and quit in an area that God wants us to persevere in. But even if we have failed, that doesn’t mean God can’t ever use us.
Moses took things into his own hands and murdered an Egyptian. As a result, he had to spend 40 years in the desert till he was ready to carry out God’s plan God’s way, not his way. But God didn’t put him on the shelf because of his failure. He still used Moses greatly. Failure was part of the process.
God gave Jonah a clear call to go to Ninevah, and Jonah tried running away from God. Yet God worked in powerful ways in Jonah’s life, and he ended up carrying out the plan God had for him.
John Mark failed.
John Mark deserted Paul and Barnabas in the middle of a missionary journey. Barnabas still believed in him and took John Mark with him on another journey. Paul later commended John Mark for his usefulness, and God used him to write the Gospel of Mark.
Peter denied Christ, not just once, but three times. Yet, God developed Peter into a strong leader after his failure. He became one of the pillars of the church in the first century.
Failure isn’t necessarily a bad thing. God can use it to make us usable and dependent on Him in ways that success can’t. Satan, on the other hand, would love nothing more than to have us feel discouraged and defeated and convincing ourselves, “I’m a failure. God can never use me.”
God can use all things in our lives for good.
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
Yes, God can even use our failures for good. Learn from them. Let God use them for good. Thank Him that failure doesn’t mean God has given up on you.
Are you struggling with thoughts of being a failure? Don’t listen to the lies of the enemy, but allow God to use your situation for good. Don’t quit, but keep moving forward, allowing God to mold you into the person He wants you to be.
How would you encourage someone struggling with feelings of failure?