Failure Can Lead to Your Greatest Success


When you’ve failed, it often feels that nothing good can ever come from it. But God can take your greatest hurt and turn it into your greatest ministry.

“When you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen and build up the faith of your brothers.” (Luke 22:32, TLB)

When you’re in the middle of a failure, it can seem like nothing good will ever come from it. But God can always bring good from your failures. In fact, your worst failure can become your greatest success. If you let him, God will use your failures to build his church!

Jesus told Peter in Luke 22:32, “When you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen and build up the faith of your brothers” (TLB). Before Peter had even failed, Jesus gave him a vision of how God could use his failure for good.

After Peter’s failure (when he denied Jesus three times), Jesus died and then was resurrected. And when he and Peter met again on a seashore, Jesus reminded Peter of how good could come from his failure. Here’s how the conversation went:

Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ he said, ‘you know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘Feed my lambs.’ Again Jesus said, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ He answered, ‘Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘Take care of my sheep.’ The third time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ He said, ‘Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘Feed my sheep’” (John 21:15-17 NIV).

Three times Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love me?” Why did he ask that three times? He was giving Peter the opportunity to make up for the three times he had denied Jesus.

And each time, Jesus gave Peter another way he could use his failure for good: “Feed my lambs.” “Take care of my sheep.” “Feed my sheep.”

On the same night that Peter had denied Jesus, another disciple, Judas, also failed Jesus. But, ultimately, Judas chose to become a traitor to Jesus, while Peter chose to become a teacher and a leader of Jesus’ church.

In Matthew 16:18 Jesus says, “Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it” (NLT).

God is building his church on people who’ve failed. In fact, God only uses failed people—because there aren’t any perfect people!

What are you going to become from your failure? It’s your choice.

Talk It Over

What is one way you want to see God use your failure for good? Do you believe that he can do even more than you could ask or imagine?

Think of a fellow Christian you admire. How have you seen God turn a great failure into great ministry in their life?

What big failure have you experienced? Are you ready to surrender it to God today so you can see how he can bring good from it?

There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. If you’re ready to accept that promise, to stop fearing God’s judgment, and to commit your life to Jesus, then pray this prayer:

“Dear God, you have promised that if I believe in Jesus, everything I’ve ever done wrong will be forgiven. You have promised that “there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1 NLT). Instead of judging me, you will accept me and bring me to heaven one day.

“I confess I have sinned against you, and I ask that you forgive me. Jesus, I want to submit my life to you. I want you to become Lord of my life. Thank you that I don’t have to earn salvation. It is a gift of grace because of your sacrifice on the cross.

“Today I’m turning over every part of my life to you. I want to use the rest of my life to serve you instead of serving myself. I commit my life to you, and I ask you to accept me into your family. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”

If you just prayed to accept Jesus, please email me at Rick@PastorRick.com and let me know about it. I’d like to send you some free materials to help you start your journey with Jesus.

This devotional © 2022 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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