If we’re honest, this is a question we all have to face at some point on our journey. Deep down inside we must confront the steps of faith God asks us to take and this question often arises. When we are devoted to obedience, there will always come moments where God asks us to take radical steps of faith, the steps where we can’t see the end result, the steps that will affect every area of our lives, the steps that don’t provoke an easy “YES!”.
It is when we confront the reality of saying yes to whatever God is asking of us that we must also confront the question: What if we fail?
Failure is something we are taught to avoid from a young age.
The first time you see receive a low score on a project at school, you experience the shame and disappointment that comes along with it! We then begin to feel the need to hide any and all failures because we are afraid of being marked by our lack and our shortcomings.
Failure is something everyone has experienced in probably every area of life but it is seldom talked about. Failure and even just the slightest possibility of failure is something we to wrestle with as we follow Jesus. Whether it be in our friendships, marriages, callings, or parenting, we have to face our fears of failing. And with that comes one of the most important lessons: We must face our fear of man.
One of our alumni shared this powerful testimony:
“When I really started to follow Jesus it was in Kona, Hawaii. I had flown there to do my DTS after only hearing about the school 2 weeks before it started. That was my first real JUMP of faith, since I had no money and was enrolled in college, but to be honest it wasn’t that difficult. I had few strings attached and felt the freedom to take the jump and forever change my life! Fast forward to a year or so later and now it was time to take another jump, I felt the Lord leading me back to Jacksonville after living in Hawaii for 6 more months. This jump meant that I had to say goodbye to the community that had loved me and discipled me for over a year. Yet that jump, too, wasn’t too difficult.
It was hard saying goodbye but I had my family and another YWAM base waiting for me. But now.. Here I am. A wife. A mother. So many more commitments, so many more strings attached, and so many more opportunities to fail. When I was alone, if I stepped out and failed, oh well! It was just me. I’d look like a fool but I’d be ok. How thing have changed, now the decisions Mike and I make effect not only ourselves, but our children & our families, and this reality weighs heavy.
Mike and I have felt like the Lord has lead us to take some big jumps of faith and every single time we end up asking ‘What if we fail?’. This question beckons a response but I usually have little to say. It is a hard moment when you have to dwell on the fact that failure is a real possibility. It is especially hard when the truth is a step of faith has to be taken. Once your life is committed to obedience, there is no real way around doing what God has asked, even when its scary or even when it sucks. I have felt a grace from the Lord since we said “Yes” to following Him no matter what. A grace to FAIL.
I have felt the grace to wholeheartedly believe that we have heard from God, proclaim what we’ve heard, and step out… only to come up short. I know Jesus cares about our hearts and I know our hearts are only to love Him and obey Him, even when the chance of failure is the highest it has ever been. I know that He is proud of us even when we fail, because after all it wasn’t Jesus that taught us to avoid failure at all costs.
No, He taught us to love Him and to joyfully say “Yes” no matter the cost. Even if that cost is looking like a fool to everyone around us. Even if that cost is taking our precious daughter to a muslim nation. Even if that cost is laying down our lives for the sake of the Gospel. He is worth the jump of faith. He is worth confronting the question. He is worth our obedience, even when we don’t understand how it’s all going to work out. HE IS WORTH IT, even if it DOESN’T work out!! Jesus is worth it in plenty and in want. He is so good, so kind, so gentle. He is so faithful to lead us and speak to us and.. He is SO proud of us when we simply say “YES!”
The grace of Jesus is real. It is tangible.
This life would not be possible without it!
It is only because of His grace that we can declare truth in the face of struggle and in the face of fear.
When you find yourself asking “What if I fail”:
1. Cling to what you know about Jesus
If He calls you to something, He will see you through it. He will equip you and provide for you. He will stay true to who He is- faithful, steady, full of love, all-powerful, giver of grace.
2. Stay the course
Just because you question doesn’t mean you quit. Stay the course through the questions. Set your gaze on Jesus, the prize, and push through those challenging moments. Don’t do it alone, because His grace is ready to fill you. Let His Holy Spirit lead you through the fire of doubt and fear and bring you out refined and right on course!
Yes, we are going to fail sometimes. Every single one of us will face failure. We are going to make dumb decisions at some point. We are going to mess up in our jobs, in our marriages, and even in our parenting. THAT PLACE is where the sweetness of Jesus collides with our humanity. Our Savior meets us in the place of failure. He picks us up, puts us on our feet, and asks us again to step out and trust HIM! This encounter, this collision, will sharpen our resolve to stay the course and fuel our passion to follow Him, wherever He may lead.