DAY 7: Failure vs Faith

DAY 7: Failure vs Faith

You can do HARD THINGS because God responds to your faith and not just your failure. You are more than your last failure! You are far more than the last time you didn’t believe, the last time you did what you shouldn’t have, or the time you didn’t step out. God sees you as a whole person. He sees your life from the end and He is trying to shepherd you from where you are now to the end of your story. He’s not afraid of your failure, or that your last failure will affect His ultimate plan.

How we handle our failures in this life are the biggest “make or break” moments we will ever have. We will all experience failure, whether we’re a ‘big shot’ or a ‘little shot,’ it’s coming our way! In that very moment, we can take ground or lose ground. It’s as simple as that.

Two types of failures come into play. It’s important to identify both.

The first area we experience failure is Unforeseen Failure. It’s failure that happens when we least expect it. It knocks the wind out of us and knocks us off our feet. It is always very painful! We didn’t expect the marriage to fail, the business to fold, the best friend to walk away, the loved one to die. Pain seems even more excruciating when we see the failure right before our eyes and yet we can do very little or nothing to change it. Overwhelmed with grief, this type of failure often begins with the phrase, “I never saw it coming!”

At this very moment, you can choose to exercise a new kind of faith. Faith that’s more powerful than your failure. Faith that’s stronger than your wounds. Faith that looks life in the eye and says, “My God is working it out, even if I can’t see it or don’t feel it. God is redefining my failure and turning it into faith!”

The second kind of failure is even harder to overcome because within it lies true motivation. The second type of failure is called Premeditated Failure. It’s the kind of failure that will discount us from ever feeling like we can look at God in the face and expect anything more from Him than just surviving.

And who could forget the most predominant, premeditated failure in the entire Bible, King David. A man sitting on the roof, watching another man’s wife bathe as he lusted after her, longing to have her in his arms. Sadly, he was so powerful, he could make that desire happen. He called for her to come and he slept with her. He even tried to cover up his own sin by having her husband murdered on a battlefield. Talk about premeditated sin! Think about the devastation of a man who wanted something so badly he was willing to put his entire morality at stake, to watch his reputation crumble right in front of him. Did King David know better? Did he understand what was at stake? Absolutely!!! David was totally aware of what he was about to do and did it anyway. I love how someone put it, “You can always pick your sin, but you never get to pick your consequence.”

Even if we have lives filled with consequences of premeditated sin, God is still big enough to help us overcome these obstacles. If we continue to define ourselves by our personal consequences, we will never be able to walk in confidence. God sees our lives as more than a payout of wrongful actions.

34 Comments

  1. Hannah 3 years ago

    Can I just say: WOW. I love you Havilah! This is changing my life..

  2. Dawn noffke 3 years ago

    This absolutely rocks!!! Thank you for these videos and timely messages!! Love it!

  3. Marti S 3 years ago

    Havilah, you are so precious and couragous and on point. First heard you @ JCLA conf in July 2013. IM SOOO blessed by this online study. I invited a friend who has joined. Days 5-7 have made me teary eyed. Thank you for what you are doing to make a difference. KEEP up the great work!

  4. Laura W 3 years ago

    “It’s not your responsibility to make the mess beautiful.” What a freeing thought. I’ve always been convinced that I can “make things right” on my own, or that somehow I need to do it on my own since I got myself into it in the first place. Or conversely, the other path I’ve taken is to continually punish and shame myself for my past failures. To claim that I am not worthy of good things because of what I’ve done. All that is nothing more than godless self-reliance and it’s left me feeling like a hamster on a wheel! Always running, going nowhere. :) I love the freedom that this study is bringing into my life. It’s exposing the lies of the enemy and allowing God’s light to shine into those places where I’ve been stuck. Such a great way to begin a year. Thank you Havilah!

  5. Candace 3 years ago

    Havilah,

    I have really been enjoying this series and am so glad I found it! God has definitely been speaking to me through it. However, I have a question for you. I’m having a hard time understanding how the death of a loved one can be constituted as failure. Or even things like friends walking away. Are you meaning that the failure is more along the lines of handling these things poorly and sitting in your pit for too long? Maybe it would be helpful to have a clear definition of what you see is success and what is failure. Thank you!

    • Jess 3 years ago

      Thanks Candace. As I was reading this I had the very same question. I am really enjoying this series and look forward to a response.

    • Alison 3 years ago

      I’m not trying to speak for Havilah, and she can definitely correct me if I’m wrong, but the way I understood it with the unforeseen failure vs. premeditated failure is the challenges we face that are out of our control and not a result of premeditated sin. She used her own postpartum depression as an example. Her depression wasn’t a “failure” in the sin sense, much in the same way the death of a loved one or a friend walking away is a failure in the sin sense. I think she was categorizing two types of messes in our lives that we will face and we will face both kinds. She was admonishing us to be kind to the little girl or boy inside us for the unforeseen “failures” and allow ourselves the time to heal, rely on the Lord and ask him to make beauty out of the mess. I think some people are just getting too stuck on the fact that she used the word “failure.” Hopefully this helps! And again, I will stand corrected if I’ve misspoken. This was how I understood it.

      • Alison 3 years ago

        And I meant to say the death of a loved one is NOT a failure in the sin sense. :) That’s what I get for commenting after midnight! :)

  6. DeAnn 3 years ago

    I have FAITH to OVERCOME failure of any kind because of GOD’S UNFAILING LOVE!❤️ Loved today’s study topic

  7. Danae 3 years ago

    Thank you for this, Havilah. My Spirit is responding to the truth that you are speaking–even because of the authority that you are speaking with. Thank you for guiding me, and so many others, to see my pit for what it is. I am finding more and more freedom as this study goes on. Bless you!

    • Candace 3 years ago

      Danae!
      I love and miss you! :)

  8. L 3 years ago

    That was so good today Havilah, thank you!
    You look beautiful today. :)

  9. Amelia Gaillard 3 years ago

    Great post today Havilah. Few ever realize that God forgives so completely that even a rapist can be His beloved. That blows my mind. It also makes me look at people differently. Forgiveness is complete. Success & failure look different from heaven’s perspective obviously. If David was a success then I can be too.

  10. Freedom 3 years ago

    This: “It’s not my responsibility to make the mess beautiful…”
    brought me many tears this morning.
    “Whoa” moment.
    I don’t think I owe it, or have to- but I feel less of a victim if I am an active participant in turning a painful situation into one of overcoming because then I find the “why”. I think Victor Frankl (wrote Man’s Search For Meaning – a holocaust survivor) said “Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’. And this is why I strive to find the “why”. The “why” sometimes takes too long. If I know the “why” I can keep my paradigm. I can find purpose in the pain.
    But hearing that it is not my responsibility to make the “why” happen is so freeing.

  11. Lisa J Wood 3 years ago

    Havilah, I love where you shared how inadequate you felt until God said that he takes you seriously. I have had to overcome self doubt, mainly stemming from childhood, and had many of the same thoughts you did. How reassuring this message is! I know He takes me seriously…now I need to be as confident and push thru the fear. Beautiful message! This is my year! This is where my story will be written. I feel it.

  12. Brynn Shamp 3 years ago

    I am really enjoying your series. Today is especially great!

  13. Consuelo 3 years ago

    Love it! Thank you

  14. Kandee Mamula 3 years ago

    Tremendously encouraging message today. Thank you so much. When you said, “You’re more than your last failure” I wrote it down to share it with the ladies I will see this afternoon at Folsom Prison. It will be so very encouraging to them. Isn’t God so very awesome that He wanted them to get this message today through you, and then through me, even though they can’t watch your videos? God is so very faithful!

  15. janet s. 3 years ago

    I have been loving your messages but this one in particular is a revelation. It’s not my responsibility to make the mess beautiful. I can receive forgiveness and that’s where hope enters. Thank you so much! This is an amazing study. I feel like it’s really transforming my thinking.

  16. Jennifer 3 years ago

    Other people’s sin choices can effect us also. We have no choice in thie effects of that either. For example David was the one who lusted for Bathsheba and caused pregnancy. The child who died did not ask to be born or cause David to sin, but pays a part in the price. Granted we don’t see this coming and can’t do anything about it. We can not even force the other person to chose better or to make it right. But we still psy.

  17. Josette 3 years ago

    Really awesome again, I had a premeditated sin some years ago. I came out of a very bad marriage after 16 years. I had big consequences and it was tough, But the Lord came through and turned that mess into something beautiful. I now have a wonderful husband who loves the Lord me and my girls, We now have beautifull ministries together, we are on the same spiritual path. I never had that before, there was no relationship before. My children are getting restored and I see lots of fruit in myself. I chose to grow through the process and draw closer to my Daddy. He got me through it all and even though I was scared and broken, my heart was open to let Him restore me. I cried out and asked him to come into my broken places, He just loved me through it all with such kindness and gentleness.

  18. B 3 years ago

    A loved ones death can be unforseen but why is it considered a failure? That doesn’t make any sense to me. Can you give me the Scripture reference so I can read it for myself?

    • Alison 3 years ago

      I’m not trying to speak for Havilah, and she can definitely correct me if I’m wrong, but the way I understood it with the unforeseen failure vs. premeditated failure is the challenges we face that are out of our control and not a result of premeditated sin. She used her own postpartum depression as an example. Her depression wasn’t a “failure” in the sin sense, much in the same way the death of a loved one or a friend walking away is a failure in the sin sense. I think she was categorizing two types of messes in our lives that we will face and we will face both kinds. She was admonishing us to be kind to the little girl or boy inside us for the unforeseen “failures” and allow ourselves the time to heal, rely on the Lord and ask him to make beauty out of the mess. I think some people are just getting too stuck on the fact that she used the word “failure.” Hopefully this helps! And again, I will stand corrected if I’ve misspoken. This was how I understood it.

      • Alison 3 years ago

        And I meant to say the death of a loved one is NOT a failure in the sin sense. :) That’s what I get for commenting after midnight! :)

  19. Teri 3 years ago

    Thank you for this study! Clearly God’s anointing is flowing through you. Everyday my heart is touched and I received ministry! God’s blessings to you!!

  20. Monique 3 years ago

    This was so good, my life is continually blessed because you are a part of it.

    I wanted to share. This morning woke up with Psalm 17 on my heart. The verse that is so empowering and very much related to what you’ve just taught is verse 15. The Message bible puts it like this: “And me? I plan on looking you full in the face. When I get up, I’ll see your full stature and live heaven on earth.”

    This is the picture of hope that you were talking about. Amen

  21. Ana Paula 3 years ago

    wow!!!!! OMG, what it is this??…Thank YOU Jesus for such grace….

  22. Rachel s 3 years ago

    Your explanation of unforeseen failures totally rocked my world and brought immediate healing in my heart! I’ve often wondered how long this pain will last or if I am the one keeping myself in pain. This study is helping tremendously! Thanks Havilah!!

  23. Ali 3 years ago

    Thank you Havilah for all your thoughts … but I too don’t see how the death of a loved one – dealing with it, praying for it, being in grief after it – can in any way be called a failure. I am facing this myself at the moment and feel it could be a message that could make the vulnerable feel guilty for feeling so sad about losing their loved one. Would love to hear this in a different way so it is not included as a failure but rather a time of drawing close to the God of all comfort who can and does give us strength for the truly hard things. x

    • Alison 3 years ago

      I’m not trying to speak for Havilah, and she can definitely correct me if I’m wrong, but the way I understood it with the unforeseen failure vs. premeditated failure is the challenges we face that are out of our control and not a result of premeditated sin. She used her own postpartum depression as an example. Her depression wasn’t a “failure” in the sin sense, much in the same way the death of a loved one or a friend walking away is a failure in the sin sense. I think she was categorizing two types of messes in our lives that we will face and we will face both kinds. She was admonishing us to be kind to the little girl or boy inside us for the unforeseen “failures” and allow ourselves the time to heal, rely on the Lord and ask him to make beauty out of the mess. I think some people are just getting too stuck on the fact that she used the word “failure.” Hopefully this helps! And again, I will stand corrected if I’ve misspoken. This was how I understood it.

      • Alison 3 years ago

        And I meant to say the death of a loved one is NOT a failure in the sin sense. :) That’s what I get for commenting after midnight! :)

  24. Alison 3 years ago

    Loved this! I can absolutely identify with the analogy of the vase falling and breaking and feeling helpless to stop it or pick up the pieces. My favorite quotes from this day:

    “Your faith is stronger than your wounds. God is working it out. God is redefining my failure and is turning it into faith.” (Um. Yes, please!)

    “It’s not your responsibility to make the hard things beautiful.” (Phew! What a relief!)

    So grateful for you and the time you’ve put into this study and making it relevant and doable in the midst of a crazy, busy, demanding life. Keep bringing it!

  25. Lisa 3 years ago

    I have gotten behind on this study and planned to catch up by doing more than one each day. UNTIL I heard this teaching. So much good stuff that I need to let this sink in before I can move on. Thank you for this!

  26. Jackie Deveau 3 years ago

    Oh my goodness!!! I have no words right now. I am in complete awe of my father. I was lead to do this 20 days of I do Hard Things as I have 2 kiddos and I had a little girl in April of 2013 and out of nowhere when I was 1 month postpartum I began having horrible panic attacks and depression that I never knew existed. To make a long story short I am much better but the residue that this awful illness leaves must be taken care of as well. Before I was lead to this I had been feeling as if I was not completely over everything that had happened due to the ppd. I feel like he is connecting the dots in my heart and wow what do you say??
    Thank you Havilah
    I would love to hear your story of recovery!