FAILURE TO FAIL Andy Hollifield 8-8-18
Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
I scanned over last years post for August 7th and one word caught my eye: fail. It was from 1 Samuel 17:32 “And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail…” He was speaking of the fact that he was going out to face Goliath. I began to think about a lot of times in my life or the life of friends that hope seemed lost and failure seemed inevitable. But I realized from that verse that our heart don’t have to fail. We have a God that the only thing he has ever failed in is that he has failed to fail. He has always been right on time, every time, in every situation, for every one, and has always done just exactly what he determined necessary to do and he has always been right.
I am glad to report to you that God is currently 53-0. He still remains totally undefeated in the 53rd year of my life and counting. Some of you can boast of a lot longer undefeated streak of God in your life than what I can. Think about that for a minute. In every trial, storm, heartache, disappointment, situation, burden, or circumstance he has failed to fail. Not one time in all your years can you point an accusing finger at him and say “You let me down” or “You got that wrong.” Just as he promised the Israelites and others repeatedly throughout scripture, the Lord has always failed to fail and also failed to forsake.
Surprisingly enough, the word “fail” is only used 64 times in the bible. I know that we all know what it means to fail. Some of us have at times seemingly perfected failing. According to Dictionary.com, there are 20 different definitions for the word fail. I will mention just a few of them that when looked at in the context of our heavenly Father, we can find him “Not Guilty” of ever having done it. “To fall short of success or achievement in something expected, attempted, desired, or approved.” Another one is “to be or become deficient or lacking; be insufficient or absent; fall short.” Absent? What about Matthew 28:20, “…I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Here is a couple more; to dwindle, pass, or die away. “To lose strength or vigor or become weak.” Not even close. His grace is sufficient and his strength is made perfect in our weakness according to 2 Corinthians 12:9. “To be unsuccessful in the performance or completion of.” What about the first hand eyewitness testimony about Jesus in Mark 7:37? “He hath done all things well.” “To prove of no use or help to.” Not even one time. The psalmist said in Psalms 121:1-2, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. (2) My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.” My help comes from the same place and from the same person. What about Psalms 46:1? “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” The word “help” is used 126 times in scripture and 39 times in the book of Psalms alone.
I could go on and on with the definitions but I won’t. One thing that amazed me was that the first time the word “fail” is used in scripture; it is talking about the one thing that most people have their trust in: money. Genesis 47:16 talks about when famine was so bad in Egypt that the money failed. The last time the word is used is in Hebrews 12:15 where it is telling us to follow peace and holiness “Lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” We may fail to live for the Lord like we should and Matthew 24:12 talks about the time that “because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” That means it will fail. Lamentations 3:22 says, “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.” I am thankful that God’s compassions toward me never have and never will fail. The phrase “Not fail thee nor forsake thee” is used three times in scripture and is referenced one other time. In Joshua 1:5, God himself tells Joshua “I will not fail thee nor forsake thee.” Tongues, prophecies, and knowledge will all fail but according to 1 Corinthians 13:8 “Charity never faileth.” One of the definitions of charity is “leniency in judging others or forbearance.” I’m glad that God’s charity never faileth. Just a little side note; dictionary.com lists seven definitions of “charity.” The one about leniency is number 6, the number of man in scripture. Number 7 is Christian love and agape love. God’s perfect number in scripture. Christian love is our love for others but Agape love is God’s love for us.
This may not have done anything for you but it has helped me just to write it. I hope that it encourages you and reminds you that no matter how bad or hard things may be, God will never fail or forsake you. Sometimes it is just nice to be reminded of God’s promises to us. To be reminded of how much he loves us and how that he will never fail or forsake us. God has a “failure to fail” at anything and especially his love for us and his mercy endureth for ever. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!