Are we allowed to talk about failure and God as Christians? I feel like this topic is a bit taboo. God is good, God is great and that is where we are supposed to focus. The times I failed God are as real as the times I felt God failed me. Do we hide the hard parts and live a fake Christian life to the world? Today we will find advice to be still and not fear facing failure and God, head first.The times I failed God are as real as the times I felt God failed me. It's okay to ask big questions of God and be real about the hard things! Click To Tweet
I Failed God and God Failed Me: A Big Secret In Christianity
God and I have walked through so many seasons in this life. As a child, I was raised without God’s influence, unwanted, and left to figure out life alone. Then we met Jesus and the Church talked about all the wonderful things about God and Christianity and the Christian life.
Blessed, healthy, and prosperous were the words I understood should describe our lives with this new faith in God. And anything less than the fullest measure of those was a result of sin in our lives or a lack of faith.
Anything less than perfection in your life should be hidden, denied even. It was a crazy feeling to be in a poor family that believed we must be the worst sinners and zero faith. Chronic illness was real in our world and hardships lurked around every corner. So we pretended we were blessed and healthy but there was no covering our poverty.
I believed I failed God and I also believed God failed me, but we weren’t allowed to voice our questions. It is the kind of shallow, prosperous gospel faith that drove me away from God.
Asking Questions Is Not Sinful or Faithless
As a young adult, I wrestled with God. I had so many questions and no one around me seemed to have answers that matched the Bible.
- What to do when you failed God?
- Does God see me as a failure?
- How do you fight when you fail?
- Can I disappoint God?
- Why do I feel like God has abandoned me?
- Does God lead us into failures?
Some of My Questions
In my life, failure is a real thing. But believers would say things like…
- There is no failure in pure faith.
- God never fails we just don’t understand Him.
- If you have those kinds of questions you should question your salvation.
- We all go through dry seasons, just keep praying until these feelings go away.
Most of that is just what those Christians had been told all of their lives. One thing that drove me away from God was all those pat and ridiculous answers to my real and painful questions.
I was afraid of failing God yet I always felt one of us was failing. Then I began to read the Bible more intentionally and I saw that the Bible is filled with these questions! It’s not sinful to ask questions, in fact, people God esteemed highly asked these same questions!
Bible Verses to Encourage the Failures in Life
When you feel like God has failed you, know that you are not alone! The Bible is full of scriptures on love and hope, but also of failure. God’s people failed and they often thought God has failed.
Isn’t it encouraging to know that people have struggled with this issue for thousands of years? You don’t have to keep silent about these questions and fears. No, instead we need to take them right to God and see what His WORD has to say about them.
David is one of my favorite failures in scripture and I find it amazing that he gives this advice to his son about God and failure.
“Then David said to his son Solomon, “Be strong and courageous, and act; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you nor forsake you until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished.” 1 Chronicles 28:20 NASB
Related Post: 38 Encouraging Verses To Encourage One Another Daily
Failure and God: Advice to Be Still and Not Fear
Looking at the context of 1 Chronicles 28:20 we see David the giant-slaying shepherd turned King wants to build a temple for God. God says No. In typical David fashion, we see a man after God’s own heart who commits to being still in God’s presence until God reveals the next step.
Oh, how I wish I were more like David in that regard. Had I been in Davids’s place I would have wondered, “Is God done with me? Maybe I failed God again!” Instead of all those fears, however, we see faith and patience. David trusted God even if God had different plans for him.
Things to Know in the context of 1 Chronicles 29:20
- Israel had been at war since taking possession of the Promised Land.
- Israel is settled, homes built, King’s palace built but God doesn’t have a temple.
- The Ark of the Covenant had been in a tent.
- Solomon is not David’s oldest son.
- David’s children are a testament to many failures.
- Solomon is the son of Bathsheba -more of David’s failures.
- Solomon would have seen the hand of God many times and seen failure just as often
Life Is Hard, but God Never Fails
We observe from 1 Chronicles 28:20 that Solomon was young when he was thrust into God’s plan to build the temple. He was not expected to succeed his father as he was not the oldest. Unprepared and unsuspecting he would have been afraid of this new responsibility. Life was looking very hard to Solomon.
David was a great king of Israel, a man after God’s own heart. Those are big shoes to fill. Not to mention all the failure there and all the hardship he saw firsthand. Can you imagine the anxiety that Solomon felt?
I love that God speaks to those very real fears in Solomon without reprimand!
A Personal Relationship with God Is Critical
As a young girl, I felt like I had failed God over and over again. Sadly, part of that was because I had some head knowledge about God but not a real relationship with Him. Yes, I read the Bible and went to church, but I only talked to God when life was hard.
They said to lift up a prayer when you have failed and God will help you, but that is meaningless if you aren’t talking to God on the normal days and celebrating with God on the great days.
As we apply 1 Chronicles 28:20 we see that Solomon didn’t have that relationship with God yet. We see it in the phrase David uses, “The Lord God, My God, is with you”. David’s God but not yet Solomon’s God. Don’t worry though, God will make this change soon by speaking directly with Solomon.
If you don’t have a real relationship with God it is impossible to “be still and not fear” when big things come your way.
What Does it Mean to Have a Real and Personal Relationship with God?
It’s not about going to church every Sunday (or maybe just Easter and Christmas).
A relationship with God is not about how much you read the Bible or pray, though those things help build that relationship.
A real relationship with God is about you and God.
- Has there been a time you met with God, talked with God?
- Have you accepted His love and forgiveness for your sins?
- Have you given Him the right to be the Boss of your life?
That is where a relationship with God begins.
- It’s not about fire insurance (fear of going to Hell when you die).
- It’s not about following all the rules
- It doesn’t happen because your mom believed or you any other relative (not even if your dad was king David).
God is relationship-driven and loves you. He wants to have all of your heart. He wants to talk to you every day and hear you talk to Him every day!
But I Failed God So Many Times…
Stop right now and Google “stories of failure in the Bible” (Here’s one to get you started.) The Bible is filled with the most messed-up stories. Character after character failing God but listen, God uses failures to inspire others to be real and let God in!
I can’t tell you how many times God tested me and I failed. Failure in life is not the end of the story because we learn from failure and overcome fear as we grow our faith in God!
So start that relationship, failures and all – today is the Day
God Says I Will Never Leave You or Fail You
As we look at some final thoughts about 1 Chronicles 28:20, we see this phrase, “He (God) will never fail you or forsake you.”
God says I will never leave you or fail you over and over again in Scripture.
As we wrestle with the idea of God failing you it is important that we remember God’s idea of failure is not ours.
How Does God See Failure?
Look at all the stories of people’s lives in the Bible and you will see that God is with each of them even when they fail. (More on that here). They mostly turn out beautifully in the end.
On top of these examples of God’s faithfulness even when it looks like failure, we see God’s promises never fail verse after verse and we know that God can’t lie.
Where Is God When Life Is Too Hard?
I can relate to the fear Solomon must have felt. There had been really hard things in his life and in his family. Some of the parts of the story of David could be right out of a soap opera turned horror movie. Solomon had a front-row seat for a lot of us and would have heard about the rest from people still dealing with the consequences.
Life is hard. People fail us. We fail ourselves. A lot of times it feels like God failed us.
In my life, some of the things that felt like God had failed me are:
Where was God through the hard times in life? Surely He left me during those times or failed to rescue me. I was praying for help and no help came. I was in church and reading my Bible but still, no help came. And I spent a lot of years stuck in asking why.
Truth: God Will Never Fail You
I know hard things happen in life (I know it personally) but the hardest truth I’ve had to accept on faith about God is this: Just because life has been hard does not mean God failed.
Let me say that again.
Just because life is hard doesn’t mean God failed.
How do I know? Because the Bible says God never fails and I have learned to believe the Bible even when I don’t like it or understand. I can’t pick and choose what I believe or the entire thing of faith falls apart.
The Bible says God will never fail you more than 60 times and if you looked at word variations it’s far higher! The Bible is true and so I believe God doesn’t fail me.
Related Post: Bible Verses about God Never Failing You
My Idea of Failure Is Not the Same as Gods
A truth we can all agree about is this: We live in a sin-filled world where bad things happen to God’s people every day.
What are the bad things that have happened to you? Think back through one of them and try to see God.
- Was He with you?
- Did He send a friend to talk to, a meal to help, financial help at just the right moment, or some other kind of warm heavenly hug?
Hard Times Grow Faith
God is with you in the midst of the bad things. He is holding onto you, strengthening you to endure it, and growing your faith.
Hard times grow our faith and while God doesn’t cause them, He can use them for our good and His glory.
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 NASB
Yes, God uses failures!
When God fails you next time, or it seems like it, look around to see where He is in the hard times. How is helping?
When your faith fails because life is too hard think back on all the hard times in the past where God moved in a powerful way and be strengthened!
I love this quote:
“God is within her she will not fail”
It implies that God will use even my idea of failure to bring victory. We are more than conquers and that is because of Christ in us!
Related Post: 14 Promises of God You Can Pray to Overcome Fear
A Prayer For Times of Failure: I Failed God or God Failed Me
I confess that I struggle to see victory and failure through your eyes. My mind sees this world and has a hard time thinking of Your Kingdom first. Forgive me for thinking so small. Open my eyes to see things the way You see them. Give me the courage to be as real about my failures as I am about my victories.
Teach me to give you the Glory when you turn failure into Victory so others can be inspired and grow in their faith as well. You have never failed me. I confess sit now. Even in the seasons of hopeless fear as abuse and betrayal came I know you were with me. Lord, You are with me now. I surrender control of this life to You. Have Your own way Lord and be glorified.
How To Be Still When I Failed God or God Failed Me
Failure is a word Christians don’t like to use. Somehow we feel we have to defend God and pretend life is perfect but that’s a lie. Life is hard and God is big enough to defend Himself. We fail. There are times it feels like He fails us.
Learning how to be still in the face of failure is about being honest, living without a mask so others see the mess and then see when God cleans the mess up.
Yes, I failed God, but no that wasn’t the end of my story. It doesn’t have to be the end of your story either. This is how you can be still when failure is present.
- Get back up and turn to Him.
- Keep your eyes on Him no matter how hard life gets.
- Reach out to others who are honest about the journey for encouragement and strength!
- Keep praying.
- Forgive yourself and God and others as soon as you see the hurt.
- Let His Word go deep as you build a real relationship with Him.
Stillness is amazing and His grace is sufficient as you learn how to do it.
God Has Never Failed Me
As I look back at all the hard times of my past; rape, miscarriage, abuse, neglect, betrayal, I see God there. God was comforting me, protecting my mind, sending friends at just the right moment and so much else. I was never alone in the suffering.
Looking back, I can see how God used every hurt to grow something into my character that He has later used to help others. Compassion for the poor and the outcast, empathy for the single mother, love for the struggling teen, the right words that I only know because I lived those hurts. If it wasn’t for all the hurt, I couldn’t help them now.
There have however been many times God tested me and I failed. Sin I’ve fallen into that I should have withstood, faith I should have shown where I allowed fear instead… But even in those times of failure, God picked me up, dusted me off and we tried again together.
He’ll do the same for you if you let Him! Praying for that today in your life.
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