Have you ever failed at something important to you? Have you ever felt like a failure? Fact is, we all fail from time to time but there is a huge difference between failing and being a failure.

Those who claim to have never failed are either hopelessly delusional or playing it so safe that life’s not worth living!

I’m 60 years old so I just happen to know a little something about failure, forgiveness and the future. I’ve learned that failure is a subject that’s always unwelcome – although far to common… On the other hand, forgiveness is always welcome but far to uncommon. And the future – well, it has a way of being here before we know it. And it seems that we make our choices today and those choices turn around and make us tomorrow.

Failure is frightening, but it need not be fatal. The formula for facing failure and turning it around is found in Isaiah 43:18-19; “The Lord says, ‘Forget about what has happened before. Do not think about the past. Instead, look at the new thing I am going to do.‘”

So how do you focus on the “new” that God wants to produce in your life? The answer is:

N – NEVER LOOK BACK. Paul put this way; “I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead…” Philippians 3:13 (NLT) Looking back distracts you. Looking back slows you down. And I’ll tell you something else – when you’re looking back you can’t see where your going! And that always makes things worse!

E – ENDURE TO THE END. Jesus once said, “By perseverance you shall gain your life…” Luke 21:19 And the author of Hebrews wrote; “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” Hebrews 10:36 (NIV) Endurance isn’t easy but it is essential! To fully experience the “new” that God has for you requires perseverance. You will never know the “new” God could do if you quit!

W – WATCH GOD WORK. Following tremendous failure, the Lord prompted Jeremiah to give this message to the people of Israel. “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). God has a plan for you. Your life is not a string of meaningless experiences nor is it a series of accidents. Fact is, life is a series of appointments but many of us miss them because we’re not watching. God has a plan for you and that plan isn’t limited by your age, your sex, your race, or your circumstances. He not only has a plan, but that plan is good! And if God has a good plan, you know what? You can have hope.

Failure is real and we’ll all have our share of it. Forgiveness is absolute. The moment we become believers, all of our sin, past, present and future is wiped away once and for all. And your future is bright because God has a plan. That’s why you must refuse to look back, never give up and watch God work.

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