Friday, October 30, 2009


When I was a teenager, we had a Bible quiz team in my home church that entered our state denomination's quiz competitions, and we lost the final championship game on the last question. I failed to give the correct answer on the final question, and the other team won. I felt like a failure, defeated, and depressed.

But failure isn't final. We were being quizzed on the Book of Mark. and I had learned Mark from front to back. It was my first earnest study of God's Word. We lost the quiz championship, but I won in a far bigger sense. It was the beginning of a much deeper and fuller study of God's Word that has been life-long habit.

I love this quote: "Victory isn't final. failure isn't fatal. What counts is the courage to continue on." I don't know where I heard this quote or the source, but it has real truth.

Bill Walsh, the late great college and NFL football coach, wrote in his book The Score Takes Care of Itself, "I would never write anything that suggests the path to success is a continuum of positive, even euphoric experiences--that if you do the right things everything will work out. Frequently it doesn't; often you crash and burn. This is part and parcel of pursuing and achieving very ambitious goals.........Almost always, your road to victory goes through a place called 'failure'."

Bill Walsh probably would not be allowed to struggle threw failure in the NFL today as his first two seasons were terrible seasons. His teams only won a hand full of games those first two years. Yet, he failed his way into leading his team into one of the great football dynasties which led to 5 Super Bowl wins.

Many greats from the Bible miserably failed and rose up from failure to achieve greatness for God.

Moses failed and fled only to finally lead the children of Israel from Egypt.

Joseph failed and angered his brothers but yet was used to blessed them and provide for them.

David failed and sinned and found grace.

Simeon Peter failed and cursed our Lord but became empowered to help build the Church.

All of our roads go through the valley of failure sooner or later. That is where God takes our brokenness and turns our sorrow into joy. He is a big God and works for those who have courage to continue on and to trust Him.


  1. Good Word, Pastor speak from God's heart to so many of us, from east coast to west coast!

    In Christ,
    Chico CA

  2. Thank you for these hopeful words...I am struggling with failure and walking through a valley dark valley of regret and defeat. I pray everyday for God to send me words of encouragement and today those words came from you. Thank you.

  3. Dear Pastor

    This I think and feel was the most uplifting post. It really spoke volumes to my heart and soul. Thank, because when we have to walk through the fire, we are made better, stronger and able to better serve and understand the love of the Lord.
    Thank you so much.