Every Christian wants to one day hear the words, “Well, Done!” Each FaithWalker wants to do great things for God. But most of us think we just don’t have what it takes to qualify for the Faith Hall of Fame.
We’ve all got stories we tell ourselves about why we don’t belong on the field with those “Major League Christians” we meet in the pages of Scripture. [See my post The Myth of the Minor League Christian.] It’s as if we think we must be perfect in order to qualify for walking by faith.
But nothing could be further from the truth. Thank God!
In fact, do you know the one thing every FaithWalker in Scripture seems to have had in common? Failure.
But the only failure that can stop a FaithWalker is failing to trust God enough to get back up and keep walking.
The one thing every FaithWalker must do? Keep walking.
The Failure Hall of Fame
If you need some convincing — or some encouragement — check out this short list of names from the Faith Hall of Fame in Hebrews 11. Remember the failures they encountered to see how your mistakes stack up.
- Abraham: Got tired of waiting for God. Had a child outside of marriage to fulfill God’s promises on his own. Descendants of the two sons have been fighting ever since. — Left home not knowing where he was going. Founded a great people of faith who formed the foundation of Judeo-Christian culture. Spiritual father of all people of faith focused on God.
- Moses: Had a speech impediment. And a fear impediment. — Miraculously delivered his captive people through the greatest collection of miracles ever seen apart from Jesus Himself. Oh, and he made time stand still.
- Sarah: Laughed her head off at God’s promise of a son. — Eventually believed God and became the mother of innumerable descendants.
- David: Slept with the wife of one of his generals while he was away fighting for David. Had the general killed. — One of the greatest kings to ever live. Direct ancestor of Jesus. Called a man after God’s own heart — by God.
- Barak: Coward. Refused to obey God’s instructions to attack His enemies. — Eventually followed a courageous woman into battle and won a great victory.
- Samson: Let’s see. Lying, self-centered, violent, hot-headed, lustful, ungrateful strong man who never grew up. — Killed thousands of oppressive invaders, even in his final, vengeful, and pitiful act of suicide.
- Joseph: Either was really stupid or had a little pride problem with his half-brothers in their blended family. — Rose to second in command in Egypt. Saved the known world from starvation.
- Rahab: Prostitute. And if that weren’t enough, she lived with the enemies of God. — Hid the Israelite spies from her people at great risk to her own life. Believed God.
- Gideon: Had God repeat miracles several times due to his weak faith.– Routed massive hordes of Midianites by faith with a handful of men. Liberated his people for generations.
And there are plenty of other examples of failure throughout Scripture and in the Faith Hall of Fame, as Hebrews 11 is commonly called.
So if you have failed — or are failing now, good news: You qualify to live an authentic life of abundant faith.
The just person, the one accepted by God, is not the one who never fails, but the one who gets back up as often as necessary and keeps walking. Like the person who falls into a wading pool, we’ll only drown if we stay down.
Our forward motion reveals our devotion to what we believe to be true.
Question: Have you ever allowed your failures to disqualify you from following Christ? What encouragement can you offer for those wrestling with failure now? Share your thoughts by clicking here.
Photo via BradWhitt.com