16 The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked.
Proverbs 24:16 (NLT)
In this article, I shall address the question on how many failures can we Christians endure before we can achieve success. Please note that I never wrote on whether we can have failures in our lives. If you live long enough, you are guaranteed with some failures along the way. Being Christians do not immune us from experiencing failures in life. God has never promised us that our lives on earth will be like beds of roses after we become Christians. The truth is failures are here to stay as long as we are alive on earth.
So, how many of them can we take? The above verse tells us that the godly may trip seven times. However this does not imply we can only fail 7 times. I would like to clarify that the number 7 here does not refer to the numerical 7. It refers to infinity. The true meaning of the first part of above verse is:
No matter how many times the godly meet with failures, they will overcome them and bounce back.
All of us want to win and be successful at all times. None of us like failures. However, when they come, God has given us the guarantee that we have what it takes to overcome them and move up to the next level. No matter how many times we trip, we can get up again. We may be down for a while but we are never out. We should always remember this truth especially when we find ourselves trapped in a bad situation that seems impossible to get out.
Why must there be failures in the first place? Why can’t we just live in a fail-proof environment? The answer is as humans, we have the desire to keep improving, reaching new heights and explore new worlds. This sounds like Star Trek but this is the quality that makes us different from animals. The human civilizations will not reach the present level if our ancestors were to stay inside their comfort zone and refused to explore new worlds, discover new knowledge and rise to the next level of civilization.
If we want to improve and move to the next level, we will have to leave our comfort zone. In doing so, we will encounter situations that we have never met before and thus increase the risk of failures. The higher we rise from our present situation, the higher risk of failures will be for us. What is your choice? Will you choose to be stagnant in your present situation that comes with a low risk of failure or will you choose to keep improving, rise to the next level and face the higher risk of failures? The choice is yours.
What are you going to do when you meet with a failure?
You may be diagnosed with a terminal disease where there is no cure. You may be burdened with huge debts and have no source of income to rely on. All these are the examples of bad situations that are quite common among the people of this planet. The real question here is, what are you going to do about it?
Are you giving up and talk negative, like the rest of the world? Or will you choose to activate you faith and use it to break out of the seemingly impossible situation? Are you determined to turn your sickness into health, your poverty into prosperity and your weakness into strength? This is the difference between Bible believing Christians and the rest of the world.
We may trip seven times but we will always get up again. I have added the word “always” to emphasize on the certainty of our resilience toward challenges in life. We have this resilience because we believe in the faithfulness of our God. We believe that our God has integrity and he will keep all his promises to us regardless of how bad the situation around us may look like. This is the life of faith. No wonder Apostle Paul said, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
The second part of the above verse tells us what happens to the wicked, which is the opposite of the godly. They cannot even take one disaster. This is how weak they are. So, don’t be angry or sad if you have wicked people oppress you or mock you with phrases like “being deluded by the prosperity gospel.” They may look big and strong when their situation is good but when a single disaster happens, they will be gone for good. The reason is because they just don’t have our faith.
In conclusion, don’t give up when you are facing a difficult situation. God has given you everything you need to overcome it. You have what it takes to overcome and triumph over that situation. No matter how many times you have fallen, you have the strength to rise up again. He who is in you is greater than he who is in this world. As long as you don’t give up, you will win. Your sickness will turn into health. Your poverty will turn into prosperity. Your weakness will turn into strength.