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More Successful Failures

"And when He [God] had removed him [King Saul], He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, 'I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.'"1

I don't know about you, but I get great encouragement knowing about other people who have experienced setbacks, discouragements, criticism, mistakes and failures, but with faith, hope, persistence and determination have risen above their circumstances to become and do all that they were capable of becoming and doing.

For example, here are some more successful failures:

Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame had his chicken recipe rejected 1,009 times before a restaurant accepted it.

Zane Grey became a dentist and hated it. He wrote several novels. They failed. He wrote a western novel, The Last of the Plainsmen. It too was rejected. He was told he had no future as a writer and to give it up. He persisted and was 40 before his first book sold. He had 65 books published while he was alive—24 after he died. His books sold more than 50 million copies. Forty-nine of his novels were made into movies. One million of his books still sell every year.2

Decca Recording Company turned down the Beatles in 1962. They said, "We don't like their sound. Groups of guitarists are on the way out." (Yeah right!)

Van Gogh sold only one painting in his entire lifetime and that one was of his own brother.

Richard Hooker spent 17 years writing a humorous war story which was rejected by 21 publishers before William Morrow bought it. The title of the book? MASH! (And we all know the rest of that story.)3

Wilbur and Orville Wright's father believed that his sons' desire to fly was heresy. Walt Disney went broke seven times and had a nervous breakdown before becoming successful. And Thomas Edison failed more than 6,000 times before making an electric light bulb that worked.

So ... if you feel like you've ever failed, remember David who blew it big time with God in his adulterous affair with Bathsheba and having Bathsheba's husband killed. So why did God say David was a man after His own heart? Because David was honest with God, admitted his failure, confessed his sin and God forgave him. He'll do the same for you and me too. When we fail that's the time to give God a chance. Surrender your heart and life to Him, give Him your failures, and in time—with growth—He will make something beautiful out of your life too.

Remember, "Failure is an event—not a person!"

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, I acknowledge my failures and surrender my heart and life to You. Please help me to see every character issue I need to resolve and, with Your help, overcome. Please make something beautiful out of my life. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Acts 13:21-22 (NKJV).
2. Insight, No. 77, p.9.   
3. Insight, No. 53, p. 23.
Note: “How to Know God”


All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.