A Disney worker spoke with a tv anchor recently. She had lost her hotel job with the theme park. Her husband had also been furloughed from Disney. The woman kept her emotions carefully in check as she spoke, but it was clear she was frightened and terribly upset. Many are having to cope with failure in the area of work, but not one of their own making. This is a “failure” only because they have been laid off or fired, or had their business fail and all of it due to the lockdowns occurring in many states. This great loss is not their fault.
Since you are reading this, you may also have lost your job or finally had to close your business. I am so sorry if you are suffering in this way. We can’t begin to understand all the hardships that so many are going through in these times, but I want to share, in this post, some ways to cope with “failure.” This is written from a spiritual sense in hopes that these words will help you to feel renewed strength and hope for the future. So first:
A Prayer for Those Needing to Bounce Back
Father, in the name of Jesus, I pray for everyone who’s lost work or had to close a business. Comfort them as they look at stacks of bills and wonder how to pay their rent or mortgage, buy food, pay for utilities, and so on. Help them to take a deep breath and look to you, our Tremendous Provider.
Lord, the Bible has so many stories of you giving food and water to desperate people. You clothe the lilies and house the birds, the scriptures say. And you are so much more concerned with each one of us. Comfort those who need to find a way out of desperate times. Let doors open for work and for new customers. Give those who need it, creative ideas for rising out of the ashes of loss. In Jesus’ name. Amen
I love this picture because it is taken from up on a hill with wildflowers in view, the sun shining, and a large expanse of water below, flowing on endlessly. It is a photo that captures a sense of abundant life: deep waters, blooming flowers. What this photo reveals in “the natural,” I pray you and others will feel in the Spirit. This same sense of beauty, abundance, and calm can be felt spiritually by “getting up higher” to that position of looking at things from God’s perspective. We need this when life seems devastated.
So the first tip, of seven, for coping with failure in life is:
#1 Trust God to Help You Bounce Back
If ever there is a time to believe God, to cling to Him, to dig into scriptures, and sing your favorite worship music, it is now. Our God is one who brings the dead back to life. Take these two verses to heart:
“Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be my light.” (Micah 7:8 NIV)
“And my God will meet all [my] needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19 NIV)
What do both of these verses say? I love the simple words of the first one. “Though I have fallen, I will rise.” And the further declaration, “The Lord shall be my light.”
What is being said in this verse from Micah is that “I will get back up. God will be the way out of the darkness I am in. He will be my light. God will guide me. He will help me figure a way out of the trouble that I am in.”
The second verse says that all my needs will be supplied. How? With crumbs? No! My needs will be met “according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
Here’s the promise: “God will help and guide me, lead me out of my troubles and supply me according to his riches in glory.”
Some of the simplest and most well known words from the bible are these: “The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want.” (Psalm 23:1 KJV)
#2 Forgive Those Responsible for Your Loss
You may have a long list of those with whom you feel angry. It might be the governor of your state, your employer, the health department, your manager, your landlord, etc. Whoever it is that gave you the “pink slip,” or caused you to have to close the doors on the business that you worked so hard to build, you must find the way to forgive them.
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13
There is no other option where forgiveness is concerned. God commands us to do this. But why? How can you forgive someone who may have brought you to financial ruin, to eviction, or some other very difficult circumstance? Someone whose actions have left you with constant anxiety? How, on earth, do you let that go?
It is not easy, but with God, all things are possible, even forgiving what seems unforgivable. By letting someone go, releasing them from being the target of your anger, you find peace. God wants you to have peace, to find that, supernaturally. It is possible.
And God will make a way where there seems to be no way. He will bring “streams in the desert.”
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:19 NIV)
#3 Take Inventory of What You Still Have
This is so important. Think about what you still have and who you still have. Be grateful for the blessings of your life. There are always many blessings to count – even with a lost job or a closed business. Take a look around at the family you have, the friends still there, the skills you retain, and the possessions you may still own. If a person of faith, thank God that He will never leave you, nor forsake you. I posted this great verse on my ministry page on Facebook this morning:
“It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” (Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV)
#4 Lean on Friends to Bounce Back
It is such a blessing to have friends. You may have been too busy with work and/or family to give them a lot of time. But now, reach out to them for companionship and help. Often our friends have ideas and connections with which they can help us. It takes being vulnerable and real about the state we’re in and the need we have to let friends in and receive from them. But, we often find that new ideas for a fresh start come from them.
We received a year end message from a ministry dear to us for people in addiction recovery. It is called the Healing House and it is in Kansas City, Missouri. They stated in their list of accomplishments that by April 1, 2020, “approximately 85% of Healing House participants were unemployed due to COVID-19. On June 1, 2020, almost 90% of these participants were employed with the the help of Healing House Employment Services.”
You may struggle to find new employment on your own, but often friends, family, and acquaintances may be the path to a new job or business possibility. Let people know you need help.
#5 Brainstorm New Ways to Thrive
And, here’s a beautiful thing about loss. Sometimes, it is the birthplace of a new direction in life.
I mentioned the tearful, struggling Disney worker who was laid off in the beginning of this article. But another Disney worker found, in being laid off, that he could explore a different way to make money and to develop his creative skills. This man, Mark Newman, has developed a business of carving flags out of wood. It may remain a “side hustle,” but it helps.
He was featured on the local news in Florida and has a Facebook page called It All Started With a Flag. And Mark joins with friends to help one another find work and business. They created a Facebook Page called “Ear for Each Other.”
What a wonderful and loving thing to listen for opportunities and share them with one another.
#6 Deal with Fear of More Failure and Loss
One of the most significant enemies with which we need to deal at present is fear.
Our minds can work up lots of scenarios: “I’ll never find another job. I won’t be able to pay my bills. This will happen to me again.” In being consumed by fear, we can lose hope, energy, and creativity for dealing with our problems.
I read the words of Andrew Towe on a website called Spirit Fuel a day or so ago. Andrew wrote about his own reaction when he had some “devastating news.” His first reaction was emotional paralysis and fear. But, then he felt God speak to him and say, “Get up and put your armor on. Quit letting the enemy know how much his attack wounded you. I am your healer. I am your restorer! Start prophesying your way our of your brokenness.” You can read the brief article here.
What Andrew means by “prophesy your way out of your brokenness,” is that by speaking God’s promises from the Bible over your situation, you begin to pull your spiritual eyes away from despair and put them back on hope.
God says His word will not return to Him empty, rather “…it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11 NKJV)
#7 Take Baby Steps To Overcome Failure
Pray and then set some simple goals for what to do next. Can you network? Do you need to make some phone calls? Are there some skills you need to gain or brush up on? Is there interim work you can do somewhere until you can really get back in your field?
There are practical questions to ask yourself after you have prayed and rested in God. He will highlight some pathways for you. God will do this by showing you something in scripture, by having a friend give you a suggestion, or you will sense direction while you pray. Somehow, our good God will lead you and help you.
God’s promise is clear:
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” Psalm 32:8
If you do not yet know God through Jesus Christ, take the step of learning who Jesus is. You then can ask Him into your life with a simple prayer, “Jesus, forgive me for the way I have lived up until now. Help me to know you. I want to follow you. Fill me with your Holy Spirit. In Your name, I pray. Amen”
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