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The Amazing Art of Failing Forward

We all go through tests and trials from time to time. Jesus said that it is inevitable that stumbling blocks will come in this life. But He also said, and I’m paraphrasing the words here, blessed is he who is not overcome by what I am doing in your life in the midst of the stumbling block. (Matthew 11 and 18).
In other words, God is doing something special in our lives when we go through a trial if we will be patient. The problem is not the trial; it’s how we react in and to the trial. After all, if we don’t seek God in a crisis time, we will never seek God in a success time.
I recently read a short but powerful exhortation that my South African friend Andrew Wilmot wrote about his time of trial. He was a very successful youth speaker. But, as happens in most people’s lives, he hit a huge bump in the road. How did he react to and in the trial? Here is what he wrote about how he felt in the crisis and what he did in the crisis to get out of the crisis.
“When you fail at a big dream, your life comes crashing down around you. Your integrity is obliterated, your testimony is tainted, your confidence is shattered and your heart is broken. You inadvertently create victims and your enemies have ammunition against you. Every ounce of your being wants to cease existing. It is one of the toughest tests you can ever write.
My failure ripped the skin off my soul and robbed me of my humanity. The only option available to me was to retreat to recover to return restored.
The key is to not allow the failure to define you. Many will shout your worthlessness from the mountaintops and you will doubt your own ability to rise from the ashes. Never underestimate God’s ability to make the impossible possible!
You must surrender to God. God is the only one who can rebuild you. God is the only one who can reform you. God is the only one who will give you that second lease on life and bring you back in a season of up to a hundred fold blessing.
God gives grace to the humble. The proud are on their own.” Wow. That’s real life.
King David in the Bible had many a crisis in his time. In Psalm Forty, he describes his trial was like falling into a pit of destruction filled with slippery mud. The more you try and crawl out of it, the more you keep sliding down it. But he realized that if he handled the trial correctly, the pit of his destruction could become the pit of his construction. David understood that it’s not what you think you are; it’s what you think, you are.
How did King David and Andrew get out of that miry clay in that awful pit?
The first thing they did was be patient in their own ‘reconstruction’. “I waited patiently for the Lord; and He heard my cry.” Ps. 40:1. Secondly, they realized only God, not their self-effort, could get them out of the pit. “He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.” Ps. 40:2. Thirdly, they trusted in God’s ability to restore them. “How blessed is the man who has made the Lord his trust and has not turned to the proud.” Ps. 40:5. Lastly, they understood that God restored them as a testimony to others of God’s work in their lives. There restoration was not only for them, it was for others also. “Many will see and fear and will trust in the Lord.” Ps. 40:3.
So, sooner or later, when you are in the pit, read the graffiti on the wall. Others have been there too and failed forward just like you…with God’s help.

church-community-connection-02Church-Community Connection is published weekly in 10 newspapers all over the world. Most of these newspapers are local paid subscription newspapers. The goal of these 450 word articles is to build a bridge to the community through humor, wisdom and changing mental perceptions that the community has of the church.


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