Not finishing first, falling short, and generally losing are all forms of failure, but really the only failure is when we don't learn, when we don't rebound, when we don't try again.
Some Christians fall into a trap believing that because they are in a relationship with God they cannot, or should not, fail. However, the Bible tells us that God may use suffering and failure to build into us character (Job 14:1, Romans 5:3–6; James 1:2–4).
When Jesus sent out His disciples to preach, perform miracles, and heal, He essentially warned them that some people would reject them—failure. He told them to simply move on and go somewhere else (Luke 9:1–5; John 15:18).
We are told to pray and give thanks in all circumstances (Philippians 4:4–7; 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18). We are told to ask God for wisdom (James 1:5). We are told to set aside our sin and persevere (Hebrews 12:1). When our failure includes sin, we can trust that in Christ we are eternally secure and that God is faithful to cleanse and restore us when we confess (1 John 1:9; Hebrews 4:14–16; 10:19–23).
Failure, as we know from the Bible and from our own experiences, is part of life. God wants to use every part of our lives to bring glory to Him and to make us more like Jesus (1 John 2:6; 1 Corinthians 11:1; Ephesians 5:1–2; Romans 8:29). Paul writes that God can strengthen us in our weakness (Philippians 4:11–13).
God has the ultimate victory and nothing can separate us from His love. In Christ "we are more than conquerors" (Romans 8:37; cf. Romans 8:1–39). Failure for a believer in Christ is never a permanent state.
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