Summary: God uses failures to teach us valuable lessons about Him, ourselves and life. Whether or not we learn from these lessons is up to us.
Deuteronomy 8:1-3, 15-16
All of us have experienced failure. This failure can cause us to live in bondage. However, if we begin to look at our failure as God sees it, then we can be set free. God does not excuse our failure, but He uses it. God takes things we would never dream He could use and integrates them into our lives to build us into the mature believers He wants us to be. In Deuteronomy 8:1-3, 15-16, Moses cautioned the Israelites concerning the danger of forgetting what God had done in their lives. Here, Moses talked about the wilderness experience. The Israelites had chosen deliberately to disobey and disbelieve God. For the next forty years they walked in the wilderness. The wilderness experience should not be dismissed as wasted time and experience. Moses reminded the Israelites that God "...led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you..." (8 :2,15)
God had used their failure to do them good and He does the same for us today.
1) God uses failure to empty us of our pride.
(8:3a) And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness,
to humble thee,....
a. Pride is the primary root of most sins
eliminates our need and trust in God
encourages our disobedience to God
erodes our fellowship with God
b. Failure is a mighty humbler of our pride.
magnifies our inabilities/weaknesses
magnifies our need for...
...the mercy of God
...the grace of God
...the power of God
...the provisions of God
2) God uses failure to expose us to the evil in our hearts
(8:3b)...[and] to prove thee, to know what [was] in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.
a. God knows the evil in the heart of every man
b. God uses failure to reveal to us the evil within our hearts
that which causes us to fall short
that which causes us to go astray
that which causes us to openly rebel
3) God uses failure to reveal weaknesses in our walk
Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently. Henry Ford
4) God uses failure to educate us as to what is really important in life.
(8:15,16a) Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, [wherein were] fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where [there was] no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint; Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not,
a. Failure strips us of the world’s false allusions of basic needs
b. Failure helps us refocus on the true needs of life
5) God uses failure to enrich our lives
(8:16b) ...that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end;
God uses failures to teach us valuable lessons about Him, ourselves and life. Whether or not we learn from these lessons is up to us.
The great inventor Charles Kettering suggested that we must learn to fail intelligently. He said, "Once you’ve failed analyze the problem and find out why, because each failure is one more step leading up to the cathedral of success. The only time you don’t want to fail is the last time you try." Here are three suggestions for turning failure into success:
1. honestly face defeat; never fake success.
2. Exploit the failure; don’t waste it. Learn all you can from it; every bitter experience can teach us something.
3. Never use failure as an excuse for not trying again.
You may not be able to reclaim the loss, undo the damage, or reverse the consequences, but you can make a new start wiser, more sensitive, renewed by the Holy spirit, and more determined to do right.