"For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do -- this I keep doing." Romans 8:18-19 (NIV).
Paul in writing to the Romans is honest about his desire to do the right thing but sometimes he failed. Paul seemed to agonize over his inability to triumph over sin in every confrontation in his life. I can relate to what Paul in saying. We want to do what's right, but our actions don't always represent our true desires.
Paul learned that failure didn't disqualify him from serving God. In fact, it taught him an invaluable lesson about victory. In II Corinthians 12:10 he says, "Therefor I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong," Christ's strength can shine through any situation, no matter how weak that situation may have made Paul.
Everyone wants to succeed. If we do not succeed we feel that we have failed. We are in the midst of football season. We all want our home team to win. It is natural to get excited when the final score shows that our team has a win. The reality is that in every contest one team will lose. Take heart because losing is not final. There will be another opportunity to make improvement.
In the Christian life all of us have had failures. We do not give up. We do not allow our failures to cause us to quit. We press on to make the necessary improvements so that we can seize the opportunity to do the right thing.
Failure is often essential for God to fulfill His purposes in our lives. When we are broken to the point that the only place we can look is up, and see Him, then we begin to see the purposes and plans He has for our lives. Failure exposes our weaknesses and inadequacies. Our best efforts never match what God wants to do in us and through us.