Where Do I Run When I Experience Failure?

We have all experienced failure at one time or another. It is so easy to see our faults and dwell on our mistakes that we stay in a state of defeat. We have a God who knows that we will fail from time to time, yet He has no desire for us to stay in that condition. So what does God desire for us to do when we fail? We can see in the life of Peter that we should run to the Savior, allow ourselves to be fed, and go back to feeding others around us.

In overcoming failure, we need to first run to the Savior. Peter experienced one of the greatest personal defeats in Scripture after denying Jesus three times in John 18, and he remains in that state until John 21. Peter exemplified what most of us do when we experience defeat; isolate ourselves from others and our personal failure. In John 21:3 Peter says, "... I go a fishing ..." This was Peter's way of running from dwelling on his failure. However, when Jesus stands on the shore, Peter shows the proper response to failure and that is running to the Savior. In verse 7, Peter jumped out of the ship and swam to Jesus. The first step in overcoming personal failure is moving from a state of failure and running to Christ.

The second step in overcoming failure is getting fed. When Peter and the disciples get to shore, the first thing Jesus tells them to do is to eat. In John 21:12 Jesus says, "... Come and dine ..." Jesus wanted Peter to recognize that the real refreshment he needed would not be found in Peter trying to work out his issues on his own, but for him to eat the nourishment that Jesus was willing to provide for him. Jesus does the same for you and me. Matthew 11:28 says, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." When experiencing failure and difficulties in life, Jesus desires us to run to Him first and be fed.

The last step in overcoming failure is feeding others. After Peter runs to Jesus and is fed, Jesus then asks Peter three times if he loves Him. In John 21:17 the Bible says, "... Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? ..." There are many different opinions on why Jesus asked him this three times. However, the most important thing Jesus was trying to tell Peter was now that he had ran to Jesus and been fed by the Savior, it was time for Peter to go and feed others. Jesus says three times for Peter to go and feed others. When we experience failure in our lives, we need to remember that after we have come back to the Lord and received what we need from His Word, we are to go out and continue in the work of giving others God's Word. God does not desire for us to stay in a state of defeat but to get back up, be encouraged, and continue in the work of the Lord through the power of His Word.

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Written by Andy Horner
October 7, 2020