Are You Afraid to Fail? (Newsletter 07.19.17)

Dear Church Family,

Are you afraid to fail? I imagine most of you would say, “Yes.” You may even think of 1 Corinthians 10:12 which says, “Therefore let anyone who think that he stands take heed lest he fall” as indicating the fear of failure is a virtue. In one sense, that’s right, but in another sense that’s wrong. Here’s what I mean.

What Paul is after in the first part of 1 Corinthians 10 is exposing and uprooting the folly of self-sufficiency, otherwise known as pride. He uses examples from the exodus generation to show as Jude does in Jude 5, that having religious experiences—no matter how radical—are meaningless without faith. You see, we tend to understand Paul’s application of the truth in this chapter as essentially suggesting, “God won’t put more on you than you can handle.” So then it follows, “Get out there and do it!”

But the thing about 1 Corinthians 10:12 is that it’s followed by 1 Corinthians 10:13 which says, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” Notice: we are tempted; He is faithful. Our ability to endure temptation without falling is not rooted in us—in our strengths or weaknesses—but in God who empowers and enables us to stand firm.

In light of this, we should be afraid to fail when we are resting on the one we see in the mirror, but we shouldn’t be afraid to fail when we are resting on our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. He is always faithful. He is always holding us fast. He is always unchanging. He causes and enables us to be steadfast and immovable because our lives are built on the Rock. In the words of the hymn “We Rest on Thee” by Edith Cherry:

We rest on Thee, our Shield and our Defender!

We go not forth alone against the foe;

Strong in Thy strength, safe in Thy keeping tender,

We rest on Thee, and in Thy Name we go.

Strong in Thy strength, safe in Thy keeping tender,

We rest on Thee, and in Thy Name we go.

Brothers and sisters, let us find our strength to stand in the Name of our Savior. He will see us through until His coming. May the Lord bless us and keep us.

Gentry