People are often told we should be thankful in all circumstances. This is often hard for many of us to do. Why is this? In my opinion, it is tied to our unhappiness with our current situation. We are focusing on all the things we didn’t get done, didn’t do right, and what we could have done better. Analyzing these things to improve ourselves is fine to do, but to only focus on this will leave you defeated and thankless for all the other things in life.
Many people look at failure as something to avoid in life, but within failure, we find our biggest wins. How can this be the case? Knowing what or how not to do something going forward, can be a huge time and frustration saver.
Now look, does it feel good to fail in something? No it does not. One of my favorite ways to understand being thankful in failure is too look at what God teaches us. In Proverbs 24:16 it says “for the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in time of calamity.” Get up, dust yourself off, and continue the work that you are meant for, otherwise you are not honoring what God designed you to do.
Another thing that gets in our way of thankfulness in failure is trying to understand why it happened in the first place. This verse in Jeremiah 29:11 goes on to say “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Instead of racking your brain on trying to understand why a failure occurred, we must trust God’s good plans and find acceptance. In acceptance, we find thankfulness. It moves us away from the “Why” wall that people get stuck on and helps us create the future the Lord has planned for us.
Lastly, comes trust in those plans that we may not understand in the present. Proverbs 3:5-6 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your path.” This is the hardest thing in life to do. Trust is said to be earned, but how can you trust when you don’t quite understand why God would let you fail in something?
There-in lies the problem, our own understanding. As it says above “do not lean on your own understanding” for He knows the plans He has for us. The future is not known by us, so trying to control or understand this is only going to cause more frustration. If you don’t trust in God, do you trust in yourself, your mission, or your purpose?
Start with trust in God and the plan will be set for you. Know that failure is going to happen; falling seven times to only rise again will help strengthen your character and at the end of the day, you will be thankful you did. Romans 8:28 tells us “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to HIS purpose.” Be thankful in the failures that God has allowed in your path so that your future will be one of hope and purpose.
-Dr. Brian Opp, D.C.