When events don’t go as you had planned and you are feeling like a complete failure, remember what that great missionary to China, J. Hudson Taylor, once said:

I have failed,
I am failing,
I will fail,
But Jesus never fails.

-Sermons Illustrated July/August 1990

 


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Failure is never pleasant. It certainly isn’t enjoyable to lose a job, see a relationship falter, or fail a test. But the immediate disappointment we feel when we face defeat can be turned into the joy of success if we take the right attitude.

Thomas Edison was busy working in his laboratory at 2 o’clock one morning when an assistant came into the room and noticed that the inventor was smiling broadly. “Have you solved the problem?” he asked. “No,” replied Edison, “that experiment didn’t work at all. Now I can start over again.” Edison could have such a confident attitude because he knew that the road to success is often paved with disappointments that serve to extend the road – not to block it. Each failure brought him a little closer to success.

-Sermons Illustrated November/December 1988

 


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By current standards of success, Jesus might be considered failure. Let’s look at how Jesus measured up to these standards:

  • Was he popular? No. He was not will-liked. In fact, after one of his sermons, all of his followers deserted him, except for the Twelve Apostles.
  • Did he have political power? No, He was a political failure. All levels of government first rejected him. Then they conspired to kill him.
  • Did he have lots of friends? No. His friends often hurt him, eventually abandoned him, and one of them betrayed him to death.
  • Did he have money and possessions? No. No house, no “wheels,” no world headquarters, no Christian amusement park.
  • Was he respected by his peers? No. His professional peers (Pharisees) rejected his work.

Despite his apparent failure by these standards, Jesus Christ has changed the lives of millions of men and women across the centuries. How could he, in light of his failures?


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