Victory After Failure

by Drew Anderson

There was a man who started on a life journey only to see it come crashing down as he exited in failure.  What was a hopeful beginning ended in bitter defeat…but that wasn’t the final word!

Have you been there?  Are you there right now? Can you relate to failure in life?

His story began in the early 18th Century on a ship headed to America to bring Christ to the Native Americans.  There was much fanfare and excitement for this young man as he was embarking on his long and arduous trek to new lands.  But, his journey upon the ocean was not a joy ride. Rather, the tempests wailed as they made their way across the Atlantic and rocked this young man’s faith to the core.  However, at one point during the awful storm he witnessed a group of missionaries sitting in peace as the wind blew and the waves roared around them.  He never forgot that moment.

Their ship did make it to shore and life in this new outpost began.

Upon settling into his first pastorate, a young lady caught his eye. He was smitten with love and desire.  As circumstance would have it, however, she had already caught the eye of another man.  Well, the days turned into weeks and the bitter thought of not having this young lady as his companion weighed too much upon his soul.  Reaction was the word of the day, and he–in jealous retaliation of being rejected by her–exercised his position of leadership among the congregation and removed this young lady and her beaux from receiving the Lord’s Supper.  The difficulties mounted, and he now found himself having to accept ministerial failure and a tarnished reputation as he set sail back to Great Britain.  

During their return voyage, they faced even more storms, and this only added to the discomfort of his spirit.  At that moment, he was reminded of the unwavering faith and peace of the missionaries he had previously seen on their first journey over to America. He thought about how their faith grew stronger despite the chaos and the imposing danger.  However, he couldn’t understand what it was that anchored them to their faith in the midst of such a terrifying circumstance.   

Finally, the ship landed safely upon the shores of Great Britain, and he was now set upon understanding what anchored those brave people in the face of death.  He soon found out that those were Moravian missionaries sent to bring the Gospel of Christ to a lost world.  They lived as a community and had small group time and times of Bible study to prepare them for their life’s work.  This was all the young man needed to know as he made his way to their location only to spend time developing his gifts of administration and the beginning of his life work.  

As it turns out this man was John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church. 

Can you relate to failure in life? Can you relate life’s circumstances and challenges?

Perhaps his first failed journey is a lot like many of ours?  Perhaps not yet?  Failure is not if, but when.  This is an unavoidable aspect of life.  We cannot escape that in time we will fail.  But, we often avoid trying new things, because we might fail. We often get paralyzed for fear of failure. We can even allow ourselves to think that failure defines us. What lies.

What we need is biblical truth to guide us through life’s ups and downs. We need a God who sees beyond what is, and instead what could be…what will be.

This journey of life is full of failures and broken roads…however…that’s not the final answer. Think about Joseph’s brothers. Think about David. Think about Peter. Think about Paul. Think about John Mark. Think about ______.

“We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.” 
Romans 8:28

Are you a follower of Christ? Is God your supreme love? Then, rest in the verse above, and step out in faith. He’ll craft your failures for His glory. Used by permission of 

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