In the Word: Finding Success in Failure [PODCAST]

Urban Cusp in partnership with J Prophet, an independent recording artist, presents “In the Word Wednesdays.” #IWW is a weekly podcast seeking to tap into the transformative power of the Word in culturally relevant ways. J Prophet offers words of hope and Christian inspiration that empower us to meet life’s daily challenges.

Scripture: Romans 8:28 (NIV)
“ And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

When we are on Holy assignment from God, there will undoubtedly be some discouraging stumbling blocks. At times these barriers seem insurmountable and overwhelming, and failure looms like a monster we never want to confront. Fearful of falling, we may hesitate to do what is necessary to complete our assignment, unaware that falling may be an inherent part of our ascending.

God has a miraculous way of reframing our failures as successes. Our success would not be complete if not rife with the struggles and battles that got us there. Defeat does not have to collapse us. Every loss does not have to be an utter catastrophe. Failure can teach us. It can humble us. It can prepare us. After all, success is not simply a refusal to fall, but it is best measured as response to falling.

Now, it may sound odd to define success in our earthly purpose as fulfillment of Holy assignment. Sometimes it may even seem intangible to connect our purpose in life with God’s purpose for us. But in God even failures can become good things. Perhaps what failed just wasn’t supposed to happen. Maybe we weren’t supposed to get that job. Maybe we weren’t ready to move. Maybe our relationship wasn’t supposed to continue. Sometimes God breaks the things we most desire because those things are not actually good for us. Our own foresight may be flawed, but God’s plan for us is good.

Of course understanding success in this way leans on the presumption that we are operating within God’s plan for us. Though it can be difficult to identify and work towards God’s purpose for us, there are certainly ways in which we can navigate the dynamic of working in God’s will for our individual purpose.

I would encourage us to pursue the things about which we are most passionate. This may sound cliché, but the things that we can talk about for hours, that keep us up at night, that God has given us a heart for are often the things God has called us to do. Here, we may best be able to see the good even if we are experiencing failure along the way. I would also encourage us to anticipate stumbling blocks without necessarily dwelling on the expectation. Seeing the good, even if we fail, is a matter of preparation. When we know difficulty is coming we can intentionally focus on the good that will also come. Keep your eyes on the prize!

Podcast music composed by Hayling


Rodney "JP" Reynolds is a hip-hop artist and minister from Mt. Vernon, NY. His artistic and written content often reflect a perspective deeply concerned with issues of social justice and existential reality, especially as they relate to matters of faith. He is a graduate of Yale University where he earned his B.A in 2010 and M.Div. in 2013. Visit his website and follow him on Twitter @JProphetPAP.

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