Failure & Success


Judges 14:3

Failure to exercise self-discipline can ruin a person’s health and happiness. Lack of discipline caused Samson to make the mistakes that led to his capture by the Philistines, who put out his eyes and forced him to work like an animal. His downfall began when he wanted to marry a heathen girl and wouldn’t listen to the objections of his parents.


Without self-control, we can squander great talents and waste wonderful opportunities. Our appetites for food, our sexual desires, our enjoyment of recreation, and our drive to succeed can become all-consuming if we fail to hold them in check. People who excel in their sport for many years do so because they eat properly, exercise, and practice regularly. Likewise, people who consistently walk with God discipline themselves to read the Bible, pray, and obey Him.

Self-indulgence guarantees failure; self-discipline assures victory. – Herbert Vander Lugt

Discipline yourself so others won’t have to.

  • April 2, Vol. 1

John 8:34

When we repeatedly give in to a particular sin, we become a slave to it. A man dying of AIDS admitted that he had been guilty about his homosexual way of life. But he couldn’t carry out his resolve to give up his immoral lifestyle. Another young man admitted that his wife left him because of his preoccupation with pornographic literature. He’s unhappy, but he can’t stay away from smut shops. Similarly, many people who to take cocaine know they are ruining their lives, but they feel powerless to give up the habit.

Samson too had become a slave to sin. He continued an affair with Delilah even though he knew she was bent on betraying him to his enemies. Samson was not stupid, but he was a slave to his lust. Like the homosexual, the pornography addict, and the drug user, he could not do what he knew he should.

Once we start down the wrong path, turning back is difficult. Jesus said that whoever keeps on sinning will become a slave to sin (John 8:34). Some of the most dangerous practices bring temporary pleasure. That’s why they are so ensnaring. Freedom, however, is found in becoming a slave of Jesus Christ.

When we are in the grip of an evil practice that is ruining our life, we can acknowledge our sin and helplessness to the Lord, submit fully to Him, and be assured that He will deliver you. – Herbert Vander Lugt

The pleasures of sin are for a season, but its wages are for eternity.

  • April 3, Vol. 1

Philippians 2:13

The great inventor Charles Kettering suggests that we learn to fail intelligently. He said, “Once you’ve failed, analyze the problems 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 suggestion for turning failure into success:

  • Honestly face defeats; never fake success.
  • Exploit the failure; don’t waste it. Learn all you can from it; every bitter experience can teach you something.
  • Never use failure as an excuse for not trying again. We may not be able to reclaim the loss, undo the damage, or reverse the consequences, but we can make a new start.

God does not shield us from the consequences of our actions just because we are His children. But for us, failure is never final because the Holy Spirit is constantly working in us to accomplish His purposes. He may let us fail, but He urges us to view defeat as steppingstone to maturity. God is working for our good in every situation and we must act on that good in order to grow.

Knowing how to benefit from failure is the key to success – especially when trust God to work in us, both to will and to do His good pleasure. – Dennis J. De Haan

Success is failure turned inside out.

  • April 4, Vol. 1

Isaiah 54:4

Problems, difficult situations, heartbreaks, and failures are inevitable, but we don’t have to allow those things to follow us through life.

This is especially true for believers. Once we have confessed a sin and have done what we can to right the wrong, we must put the incident behind us.

The apostle Paul told us to forget the things of the past that will hinder us and to reach forward those thing which are ahead. Then we will be better able to “press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).

When it comes to failures of the past, we can always close the gate behind us. – Richard W. De Haan

We invite defeat when we remember what we should forget.

  • April 5, 1

Acts 15:38, 2 Timothy 4:11

Although we can never undo a failure, we can learn from the experience and profit by it. It doesn’t do any good to brood about what went wrong. Wishing we could do something over is an exercise in futility. Each day is new. With God’s help we can succeed, if we learn from yesterday’s failure.

Christians live in the land of beginning again. – Herbert Vander Lugt

Failure doesn’t mean you’ll never succeed; it will just take longer.

  • April 6, Vol.1

Psalm 37:24

In learning to live a consistent, Christ-honoring life, we sometimes despair over our failure. Even though we know we can experience victory, we are weak and we often fall. But Christ’s restoring grace enables us to get up and go on. Our struggles is a sign of life. – Dennis J. De Haan

To rejoice in righteousness and grieve over wickedness is proof of a genuine Christian.

  • April 7, Vol. 1

Philippians 1:12

When our carefully laid plans fizzle, it’s time to analyze our failure and take appropriate action. If we discover that we blundered, we can correct our mistakes. If we trace our seeming lack of success to circumstances beyond our control, we can ask God to teach us what He wants us to learn and trust Him to bring good out of our disappointments. A failure then becomes a steppingstone to success. – Herbert Vander Lugt

Most successes follow many failures.

  • April 8, Vol. 1

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