God and Failure
In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul addresses some concerns about the resurrection and adds a “therefore” to sum up the previous 57 verses. Therefore, …be ye stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, …”
Because the resurrection will occur one day and because we want to experience eternity with Jesus, Paul is encouraging us to always abound in our work for Him. Abounding, according to Strong’s, means “to exist or be at hand in abundance.”
Can our work for Jesus be described as “abounding?” It’s a serious ques- tion and one that we should answer today, rather than waiting until we are asked about it on judgment day.
One of the well-known parables in Matthew concerns a man leaving his goods to his servants before he went on a trip. On his return, each was questioned about their work and we learned that the servant with a single talent hid it, fearing that he would lose it. We also learned the servant met a horrible end.
The fear of failure can prevent us from taking action when we are con- fronted with an opportunity to be responsible for our commitment to Jesus. However, as we learned in the story, it’s not an excuse for avoid- ing the opportunity.
The parable tells us that we fail when we fail to act. The one talent man failed because he did nothing with his lord’s money. Failure is not pleasant and we all try to avoid it, however, if the Lord is involved, can our work ever be called a failure?
It may be possible to draw a parallel to 1 Corinthians 10:13 where we’re told that God will always provide a way to escape a temptation. Is it possible that with every responsibility we face and act upon, God will provide some degree of success?
When we act on responsibility, good things will come from our efforts to meet the challenge even if we think we failed. There are no failures where God is involved.
We are not failures if we are doing the Lord’s work. Paul gives us this assurance as he ends the verse: “…forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”