Finding success through failure

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Finding success through failure      

Nehemiah 2:20 “The God of heaven is the one who will give us success…”

Extra Reading: Nehemiah 2:1-20

Nehemiah kept his mission a secret and surveyed the walls by moonlight to avoid unhealthy gossip about his arrival and to prevent enemies from being alerted to his plans (vv. 15, 16). Only after planning carefully would he be ready to go public with his mission from God. A premature announcement could have caused rivalry among the Jews as to the best way to begin. In this case, Nehemiah didn’t need tedious planning sessions; he needed one plan that would bring quick action. Sanballat and Tobiah labeled the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls as rebellion against the king, probably threatening to report the builders as traitors. These enemies also ridiculed Nehemiah, saying that the walls could never be rebuilt because the damage was too extensive. Nehemiah did not tell them he already had permission from the king to rebuild. Instead, he simply said he had God’s approval-that was enough. There are people in this world who think it is their job to cause others to fail through their criticism. But we do not have to take their criticism to heart and think failure is on our way. It is easy to get discouraged and believe that you are bound to fail. We beat failure when we continue to fix our eyes on Jesus, “the author and finisher of our faith.” If you have drifted from the faith, stopped praying and reading God’s Word, then failure shall be your next experience. I met a good Christian man in Polokwane two years ago, who shared with me that his son has got into drugs, and has morally gone wrong, and this experience has caused this man to think that he failed God and that he is a failure himself.

After preaching an inspired sermon at a men’s camp, one man approached me and told me that because I am not a graduate I am not bound to succeed in ministry. I laughed the matter off because I knew that it is not university degrees that make a servant of God succeed in his ministry, but it is the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Let me say this to you that in whatever guise failure appears, it will seem insurmountable and almost crippling. It will leave you with a feeling that nothing-even faith in God-will stop the force of the impact. Failure will make you think that it has a final word on your destination in life. We should look at failure as one station in life where we stop at and move on to better prospects. I believe that failure can be turned to good, stumbling stones become stepping stones of blessing and honour in your life. We need to conquer the fear of failure. Let me encourage you today. Make an attempt to achieve something big for God and stick your neck out to achieve it. He will help you. You may want to agree with David’s words when he said, “I am a reproach among all my enemies, but especially among my neighbours, and am repulsive to my acquaintances; those who see me outside flee from me. I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind; I am like a broken vessel.” (Psalm 31:11-12). In a way, David made that transition from failure to success. David refused to let himself be discouraged, refused to take his eyes off his final destination, even when he was deep in trouble. He chose to trust God for success.

Prayer: Father God, help us today to keep our eyes fixed on You. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen!

Rev. Samuel N. Modise           

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