The LORD said unto Joshua, Fear not, neither be thou dismayed: take all the people of war with thee, and arise, go up to Ai: see, I have given into thy hand the king of Ai, and his people, and his city, and his land: Joshua 8:1
Suggested Scripture reading, Joshua 7:1 – 8:26
It seemed like a good idea at the time. At least on paper the business was viable. The market was there. Competitors were few and the entrepreneur knew his business. So property was purchased and the enterprise opened. The first few weeks went pretty well but then the numbers of customers began to dwindle. This was troublesome. Business loans had been taken out so that the business could start and it was becoming increasingly difficult to keep up the payments. Then it happened. A customer slipped and fell. The resulting lawsuit closed the business, There our entrepreneur sat with a huge debt and a good idea up in smoke. The fact and feelings of failure were hard to bear.
Joshua knew that feeling. In Joshua chapters 7 and 8 we read how he had taken the city of Jericho. However, there was an Achan in the camp. His greed and disobedience brought defeat to Israel and the death of 36 good men. Joshua’s sense of failure was profound. “And Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the LORD until the eventide.” (Joshua 7:6a) How could he have avoided the defeat at Ai? His actions are instructive for us today. First, he went to the Lord and sought wisdom. Second, he found and dealt with the root of the problem. Finally, he re-attacked the problem and took the city of Ai. He moved because God assured him that He would bless the enterprise and he had, therefore, no reason to fear to overcome his past failure. (Vs. 8)
Our entrepreneur reassessed. He sought the mind of God. He discovered the root causes of his failure. He then went forward with more resources and a better business plan. He was much more successful.
Failure as a part of life can be debilitating or a learning experience. It can propel us forward to success. The Heavenly Father does not want His children defeated by failure. (II Timothy 1:7) We all struggle each day over something. We strive to accomplish certain goals. Often we strive against our own sinful flesh. There will be times of failure but we must “go up” again. We must assess the reason for the failure, get better resources and a better plan, then seek the blessing of God and . . .
Fear not, to overcome failure.
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