12 Apr Never Give Up
Everyone has the potential to achieve, succeed and be a champion. In this age of rat race, each person always prefers to be in the height of accomplishment, continue the winning spree and bask in the glory of attainment. None likes to be part of an unsuccessful story. But the event of failure is not rare. History is replete with tales of failures. Since ancient ages, there have been stories of successive setbacks. Failure is not a new event and we see in the Scriptures successful personalities falling down in their lives. Moses, the great leader who introduced concepts of leadership and known as the humblest man on earth, could not keep his cool while executing the command (Exodus 2, 32: 19; Numbers 20:11) for miraculous supply of water from the rock and lost the privilege of leading the Israelites into the promised land. Likewise in the New Testament, we see Apostle Peter one of the closest disciples of the Lord Jesus denied His Master thrice despite his self confidence and Master’s warning.
All human beings fail. There is not one, however, strong or weak, rich or poor, wise or unwise, old or young, who has not failed. Some perhaps fail often than others. Failure is the process towards and transition to success. Thomas Edison invented the microphone, the phonograph, the incandescent light, the storage battery, talking movies, and more than 1000 other things. It was in December 1914. He had already worked for 10 years on a storage battery. This had greatly strained his finances. One evening spontaneous combustion had broken out in the film room. Within minutes all the packing compounds, celluloid for records and film, and other flammable goods were in flames. Everything was destroyed. Edison was 67. The next morning, Edison looked at the ruins and said, “There is great value in disaster. All our mistakes are burned up. Thank God we can start anew.” Three weeks after the fire, Edison managed to deliver the first phonograph. People who rarely fail are usually the ones who never do anything. Failure to score expected marks or being unsuccessful in academics is very commonly encountered in student life. It leads to cynicism of the system. We often become critical of everyone and everything around us. Blame game is played. Sometimes depression plays havoc and prompts some to take extreme steps in life. It is very important that failure is a fact one needs to accept, confess, repent and come out of hurts and wounds. It is time to gather all notes, books and other materials and restart preparation with earnestness. When one starts to move on leaving behind failures and puts in hard work, the Lord will step in to lead him to success. Failure to qualify entrance test for admission to professional course of choice poses as an insurmountable problem. Career is at stake. It is usual to be discouraged. When the Lord closes one door, He will open another. Remember to trust in the Lord and not to rely on own understanding (Pro.3:5). Acknowledge Him in all your ways and He will make your paths straight (Pro. 3:6). In case one is sure of God’s will for a particular career, it is advisable to wait and prepare well before reappearing for the professional entrance instead of taking any hasty decision. Senior students and graduates can play important role of extending warm fellowship and helping hand to such students.
Sometimes during the period of forlorn hope, confidence and strength builds up in us. A few turn from their rebellious ways to the Way and the Truth fill their lives with hope. They move from purposeless to purposeful and meaningless to meaningful direction in lives. Hard lesson of failures teach them to stand firm against all storms. Failure to secure employment in time or repeated failure in job interviews is a matter of great concern for the unemployed youths. Staggering figure of growing unemployment among educated youths in one hand and less employment avenues on the other is very disheartening. It is difficult to understand this painful struggle of jobless youths. One graduate once testified that he was finally selected for a government job after applying 45 times for various jobs. He knew failure was not final. He kept on declaring each time that the Lord had planned to prosper him and give him a future and a hope (Jer.29:11). Unexpected loss of job or in business crashes us down sometimes from our otherwise meteoric rise in life. Let us surrender and rededicate ourselves to the Lord in such desperate situation rather than question Him. The Lord has better plans for us than the present status. He always gives us His best. Wait on the Lord in faith. The job or business sometimes keeps us busy. This is the opportunity to devote more time in His presence reading the Word and declaring His promises. The Lord will bring beauty out of ashes. Denial of expected promotion or lack of promotional avenue in career so pursued with dedication causes despondency and more so when someone else less deserving than us is promoted or placed above us. For promotion comes neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.
But God is the judge: he puts down one, and sets up another” (Psa. 75: 6-7). The Lord will open a new door of professional growth. Humble yourself under the mighty hand of the Lord and He will exalt you in due time (I Peter 5:6). Once a successful and accomplished seniormost executive was bypassed and was not promoted as CEO of the company as was expected after the present incumbants retirement. The company brought an outsider to occupy the post. It was quite discouraging and humiliating to continue in the same company. As a believer, he did not stop believing, praying and seeking the face of God along with his wife and continued to work in the same position with same dedication and efficiency. After two years, it so happened that the chief executive resigned and the company elevated the believer brother to the said post. The Lord did not pass him by. Failure in the area of finance, health, relationship and ministry is also commonly faced. The Lord is the Lord of restoration. He will continue to supply our needs and restore our health and relationships. “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the crawling locust, consuming locust and the chewing locust, My great army which I sent among you. You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you; and My people shall never be put to shame (Joel 2:25-26). David cried out in repentance to God, ‘Against you -you above all- I have sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight…’ (Psa. 51:4) and went on to become a mighty King and man after God’s own heart. Peter wept bitterly over his timid act of denial of the Master. He was restored in the Lord and forged ahead in the anointing of the Holy Spirit to become a bold and powerful apostle in the early church. The righteous may fall seven times and rise again (Pro.24:16). He will bind and heal all wounds and erase hurts and scars and qualify the called for His kingdom in spite of failures.
Zig Ziglar, American author and motivational speaker, affirms, “Failure is detour, not a dead end street.”Whatever be the failure-academics, job, business, and marriage or personal life- never give up. Overcome the fear and harsh fact of failure in His strength and then forgetting the things which are behind, reach forward to those things which are ahead (Phil. 3:13). The scripture recognizes that we all stumble in many ways (James 3;2) but also promises that the lord upholds all those who fall (Psa. 145:14), leads to victory from defeat and to success from failure. Rise up and declare, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13).
Reference and Suggested Readings: 1. Success is never ending: Failure is never final-Robert H. Schuller 2. Hand Me Another Brick- Charles A windoll 3. Failure, the Backdoor to Success- Erwin W. Lutzer 4. Reaching your potential- Norman Vincent Peale
Dr. Nanda Dulal
The author is working as Group Director in a central Government Dept. He resides in Bangalore with his wife Geetanjali and daughter Bonita. He and his wife are involved with UESI ministry right from their student days.