The Fear of Failure and God’s Redemptive Grace

As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart…. (Pr 27:19).


I have had very destructive thoughts try to weasel their way into my heart and mind recently. As God has been taking me down a different path the past few months of my life I thought for certain the path would re-direct and it did, but not in the direction I was hoping for. Now, I feel the enemy pressing in trying to get me to be discontent in the place of God’s provision.

Thoughts like, “What are you doing? You’re a loser and a failure. Things like this don’t happen to people who have their lives together.” “Look at all these others people around you Heather, they haven’t gotten themselves in the place that you have. What God has allowed to happen in your life is unfair, just look at your other friends they aren’t failures like you.”

I believe what God is showing me is that my heart really loves success. When I feel like I have something tangible to show I feel valued as a person. Now, God is stripping me of all my successes to bring me to a place of being least at the table, so that He and only He might be exalted in my life. I can’t say that I always like it here. Some days and moments are better than others. Yet, I know that my Redeemer lives. I know that the only thing that matters in this life is that I am His daughter. I’m working hard with Him to get that thought to dwell deeply in my head and into my heart. Truly, I am His beloved child.

The drive for human success is purely motivated by the longing to be accepted by people. When I was a child I felt rejected by some people in my life, so I started getting good at other things. I started pursuing satisfaction and joy in the things I did. I was driven to be excellent at what I did, not who I was becoming or who I was investing in. My life quickly became about caring more about the things I was good at than the people I was surrounded by. I quickly became an island of success. Driven only by self for the gain of my own glory.

Over the years God has been stripping that old woman away. I am learning, sometimes slowly, the value of investing in others. Sometimes I think I still like working too much and in my pursuit of work forget that it’s not about the success I gather along the way, but the person I become and the people that I love and shepherd well along that journey.

Maybe you’re like me and you just want to follow Jesus, but you don’t always get it right. There is grace for you. It is His endless love for people like you and me who still struggle and stumble along the way. We can rest in the Father’s arms. We can be honest about our true selves apart from Christ. We can allow God to go to the dark places of our hearts still in need of His redemption. Thanks to His daily, unending grace.

It’s His grace that sets us free from condemnation. It sets us free to be transparent, and share with honesty our own struggles. We’re all a work in progress. The beauty of the gospel is that God makes lost people found and is in the process of making them new. Truly, He is a God of restoration. The longer we hide in pride the longer we’ll stay the same old man or woman. When we let God’s love penetrate the most broken places in our hearts we find His hand, along with His chisel, rebuilding us into brand new people for the sake of His great love.

Oh Lord, I long to be like you. It is a difficult process sometimes. Thank you for showing me the true reflection of my heart. Thank you that you are changing me. I will come forth as gold. I will come forth as a new woman who has a deeper capacity to love others for the sake of your great name. I submit my sin, my heart and my life to you. God, use my life today, in this present season for your Kingdom, in Jesus name, Amen!

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