Summary: (PowerPoint Slides and Cell Study Notes freely available by emailing Emile@Wolfaardt.com) Learning how to turn failures in to victories....
Series - "Living Life to the Full"
How to Fail Well (LTF-05)
Have you wondered why we all love stories where, despite insurmountable odds and against unstoppable enemies, the little guy fights his way to the top and the bad guys get their comeuppance?
Nearly 35 years ago on October 30, 1974, Muhammad Ali and George Foreman squared off in the boxing ring in Kinshasa, Zaire. Ali had dubbed it "The Rumble in the Jungle." Foreman was heavily favored, and was considered to be the hardest puncher in heavyweight history - and he was fairly confident he could finish off this upstart Ali.
Ali, however, did something in that night that no other fighter had ever tried before. In a technique he called the "rope-a-dope." Mohammed Ali held up his arms against his face and leaned back against the ropes allowing Foreman to punch away at him for eight rounds. The strongest boxer (in the history of the sport) beat on Ali until he could punch no more.
When the right moment came, Ali bounced off the ropes and knocked out Foreman . . . sending him into retirement. The underdog won.
I am unashamedly a Rocky Balboa fan. His message is a message of hope despite failure and weakness, and it is a message we all need to hear. Despite our worries and our weaknesses, despite our fears and our failures, despite our up-sets and our set-backs, there is still hope.
Many, many years ago, there was another man, a confident man, a fighter. He feared nothing and no-one. His name was also Rocky - well that is what some of his friends called him. The Greek word for his name, ‘Petros,’ means rock or stone. When Jesus looked at his courage and conviction, when Jesus looked at his faith and his faithfulness, Jesus told him that he was indeed a rock.
- A rock of loyalty and of courage, and strength.
- A rock of conviction, commitment and faithfulness
- A rock who decided to stand beside Jesus no matter what.
I think that is why I like Peter so very much. Despite his failings and his failures, he was a success, he was victorious.
This morning I want to speak to you from the Word of God on How to Fail Well. Our series is entitled Living Life to the Full - and one of the most destructive lies that satan has sold the world in general and the Body of Christ in particular is that if you fail you are a failure. I want to show you from the Word of God this morning that that is not true. There is not a successful human being alive who has not made countless mistakes, again and again and again - yet they ended up being successful. There is nothing wrong with failing - but what I have got to learn to do is to fail well.
Open your Bible with me, if you will, this morning to the second letter Paul wrote to a young pastor named Timothy. 2 Timothy 2 and the 13th verse.
While you are turning there, I want to invite you especially to listen to me very carefully this morning if you believe you have made some great mistake in your life. Perhaps the world knows about - perhaps no-one does.
Perhaps this morning you are or were addicted to alcohol.
Perhaps your struggle is with drugs.
Might be you’ve gone through a divorce, and have struggled in the church ever since.
Perhaps you have committed adultery - or you are not married and you’ve lost your virginity.
Perhaps you are in a marriage that has failed - and you want out.
It could be you are addicted to pornography or your mind if filled with intense sexual thoughts.
Perhaps you’ve experimented with homosexuality or lesbianism, or are still struggling with these things.
Perhaps you got pregnant and had an abortion, or made a girl pregnant and simply upped and offed.
Perhaps your mistakes are more insidious - you are driven by fear or doubt or pride or regret.
The truth is that ‘failing’ touches every single one of us - past, present and future. So this morning I want to encourage our hearts from the Word of God, and I want to talk about How to Fail Well. I know you fail, but what I would like to do this morning is to teach you to be a better failure.
Read 2 Timothy 2:13 - Pray.
I. Failing Is a Part of Life
This first thing we need to recognize precious friends, is that everybody fails, not just once or twice, but all the time.
J. M. Barrie said, "We are all failures - at least, all the best of us are."