Successful Failure


“Though a righteous man falls seven times, he will get up, but the wicked will stumble into ruin.” – Proverbs 24:16


Years ago, my son earned a spot on a top-level lacrosse team. The coach had a reputation of being hard on his players. Practices were awful and the coach demoralized him. He made him feel like he was out of his league and pulled him every time he made a mistake. After a while, this boy who loved lacrosse never wanted to play again.

I encouraged him to change his perspective; to use the adversity to get better, be the best teammate, and have the best attitude on the team. He worked hard and had a positive attitude. The coach noticed. Even though he still rarely saw the field, he used this “failure” to prove to himself what he was really made of. This experience helped make him into an All-Conference player his senior year, but best of all; it developed and refined his character.

God can turn what you might consider your worst failure into great victory. He loves to turn defeat into victory, disappointment into determination, and challenges into character. Take Peter for example. He wanted to do great things, but experienced failure along the way. But he wasn’t defeated; instead, he became more determined to stand with Jesus. He didn’t focus on the failure, but his future.

See failure as an opportunity to learn and grow. See opportunities for every obstacle, possibilities for every problem, and steppingstones for every stumbling block. God has purpose in every detour, disappointment, and failure. Don’t let failure define or defeat you. Instead, let God turn your circumstances into successful failures.

  1. Have you ever failed but learned from it and turned it into a success?
  2. Read Romans 8:28. What does it tell you about what God will do with us, even our failures?
  3. What current situation or challenge do you need to see differently?

Philippians 1:6

Matthew 14:28-31


Father, thank You for my successes and my failures. Please use both to glorify You. Amen.

Bible Reference: 
Philippians 1:6
Matthew 14:28-31