FAILURE IS A FORM OF DISCIPLINE
11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. 12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13 “Make level paths for your feet,”[a] so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed. Hebrews 12:11-13
There is pain in the process. No matter what we do in life there is always going to be some type of pain in the process. I learned that best when I first stepped into a weight room in High School. I remember the sounds, the smell, the images of all of these older guys lifting weights, and of course my first thought was... I can do that. It looked so easy and I really wanted to let the guys know that I knew exactly what I was doing. I didn't ask anyone for help and put on what looked like to be an easy weight to lift. I mean I was watching guys about my same size lifting the same weight and I was like... I can do that. So the time came and I laid down on the bench and as soon as I lifted the bar off of the rack, I knew I was in trouble. The weight came down hard and it felt as if my chest had temporarily imploded, but luckily for me, there was a guy that had been watching me the whole time that quickly ran to my aid and helped me get the bar back on the bench. So when I tell you that their is pain in the process... I literally mean that there is PAIN in the process.
For many of us though we have also learned that life lesson through different ways. I really wish I could say that that was the last poor decision I have made that led to failure, but the true reality is we gain wisdom through our failures. At least I hope we do. In the story of our lives, we are continuing to see the pattern of how God is willing to discipline those who are seeking to grow out of failure. And I need you to hear me that failure is not a bad thing some times. Failure is a life lesson that we use to obtain success. I read this quote by Albert Einstein on failure and I want to share with you today: " A person who never made a
mistake never tried anything new. The stakes are immense, the task colossal, the time is short. But we may hope - we must hope - that man's own creation, man's own genius, will not destroy him." Einstein was talking about our ability to see things from a new perspective. In order to create change and grow in a new direction, we must be willing to face failure and learn from the mistakes in order to help others in their journey later in life. The discipline that results from failure is the true reality that we never give up because we failed. Someone once said, "Just because you failed 99 times in trying to create something doesn't mean you have failed completely, it means that you have found 99 ways in how not to create something in that way." Einstein says again, "Failure is just success in progress." What a very profound statement from a genius that failed a lot.
When you dive into the writer's verses today, I hope and pray that you see the stories that came before the scripture. In chapter 11 of Hebrews, we have this meaning of faith that has been given to us as being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we cannot see. It begins to define this process of discipline through the times of failure leads us to a faith that cannot be destroyed. Then we see the people of faith that stepped out and failed, lost their lives, and totally did not receive what they were expecting because God had something better planned that they could not see. See we have these expectations that WE want to achieve, but we have to have a faith to believe that God has a bigger plan that we cannot understand. A plan that may lead us to failing multiple times in our lives because we are unyielding to the discipline God has used to direct us to something that is better. Why are we disciplined, in order that we can strengthen our spiritual arms and legs for the journey that lies ahead of us. We are being prepared to help others come and receive the same gifts from God, and hopefully we will be the ones that prepared the path to be a little easier for those who follow behind us.
So today I hope and pray you understand that the pain is part of the growth. I learned that lesson very early that day when I walked out of that weight room. My arms were totally sore, by chest was sore... I believe that every part of my body was sore. The reason... because every part of my body had to be broken down in order for it to grow stronger. I had to be willing to work through the pain in order for my body to be better prepared for the growth that was to come. But I couldn't stop... I mean I could stop, but then I would lose all that I had already gained. I had to continue to discipline myself to daily spend time for the growth
that was going to occur. The same is true in our spiritual lives. We have to be disciplined to follow through with the work every day. Yes, there are going to be some days that are harder than others. Yes, there is going to be pain and days that you think that all of this is not worth it... And Yes, there are days you are going to want to quit and just walk away. But remember, through the testing of your faith develops endurance and endurance perseverance to carry you through to the next steps of God's plan. In life we are all going to fail, but it is truly the way we react to the failure that shows true growth and wisdom. I hope and pray that you will continue to push yourself beyond your normal limits and see failure as the part of the process to success. It is in the failures that we truly learn and through the discipline we find a way to endure.