Jesus and Failure

3 Ways to Make Jesus Your Fail-Safe When You Feel Like a Failure

Failure.

The soundtrack of my life could easily be summed up as failure. It plays on repeat, as though I have selected the option in order to not forget it. Why does it seem that I never can get it quite right?

Even now, I am mentally replaying the series of events in my life that add up to my interminably long laundry list of failures. If only I had done this or if only I had handled that situation like that.

Maybe it’s just me, but I have learned that the greatest weapon the enemy of our soul uses is us. He zeroes in our individual areas of greatest weakness and insecurity and then persistently pounds us with lies until we struggle to stand up under the weight of it. I frequently play right into his wretched hand.

3 Ways to Make Jesus Your Fail-Safe When You Feel Like a Failure Share on X

When You Feel Like a Failure

Recently, I was reading about forgiveness and the concept of forgiving ourselves. I started thinking about that and pulled out my notebook and began to make a list of those past sins that continue to haunt me. I wrote down all the things that I have wrestled with about accepting forgiveness from Jesus and accepting it as whole and complete.

I can look at you, my sister, and the words pour from my heart about how much Jesus loves you and how His blood covers your sins. Were we in conversation, I would quickly reassure you that God’s redemptive blood has washed away your sins entirely and our Jesus has removed your sins as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). I would remind you and comfort you with the words that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). My heart would ache for you to see how the enemy was using the weapons of guilt and shame to prevent you from walking in the freedom of grace Jesus died to provide.

Yet, when it pertains to my own sins and failures, I wrestle with feelings that I don’t deserve God’s forgiveness because I should have known better.

How to lean on Jesus when you feel like a failure...

Related Post: My Overwhelming Fear of Failure & Jesus

So, there I sat, with pen in hand, outlining my sins, noting my unworthiness with every remembrance listed. As I reviewed the words I had written in my journal, I was struck by how desperate the enemy’s hold on me had become. Was I still writing down a list 25 years in the making?

Sly, Satan, sly.

As Christians, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit and that cannot be stolen from us. Therefore, Satan will try every which way he can to derail us from God’s mission and purpose for our life.

Enter the Grace of Jesus…

Jesus looks at me and He sees those scarlet sins washed white as snow. He paid the ultimate price for my sins so that I don’t have to. He loved me, and you, so much that He willingly and lovingly allowed Himself to be beaten beyond human recognition, to be mocked, to be scourged, to die a criminal’s death in order for us to walk in freedom and in fellowship with Him.

Jesus is the ultimate pursuer of relationship with Him. 

So, I grabbed a red pen from my bedside table and I began drawing giant red crosses across the list. I asked God for the ability to no longer view these as signs of my unworthiness but instead to view them through the lens of the cross. Momentarily, I had total clarity and it was personally applicable to me—not just something I would say in reassurance to a sister and friend.

But how quickly we can be reminded again of why we don’t deserve grace and our newfound peace disappears. Or, we turn around and make that same mistake again, reinforcing feelings of failure and never getting it right.

What do we do then?

3 ways to lean on Jesus when you feel like a failure

Related Post: Fighting Self-Condemnation with the Gospel

3 Ways to Kick Satan to the Curb

Satan rarely goes down without a good fight.

Let’s give him the fight of his life and send him scurrying with his tail tucked between his legs.  

Here’s how:

1.) Release the List

Keep the crosses over the catalog of offenses, sister!

Do not pick it back up again. Jesus is no longer looking at our failures because when He looks at us, He sees us through the lens of the cross. He wants us to be free from the weight of carrying the list of our trespasses and sins.

His blood covers all!

2) Receive the Truth of God’s Word

We are not condemned any longer by our failures. Let’s own this truth: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). 

Oh how I want to be free from the bondage of past sin and shame—and to remain free. Isaiah 1:18 says, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they will be white as snow.”

We also read in 1 John 1:9 that if we faithfully confess our sins then God is faithful to forgive our sins. Jesus tells us that we will know the truth, and the truth will set us free (see John 8:32).

Let’s not pick up the shackles again, sister!

3) Remember Who God Says We Are

Jesus lovingly extends His hand to us and reminds us that we are chosen, loved, adopted, redeemed, and forgiven (Ephesians 1:4-7).  We are His beloved daughters. His heart breaks when we forget to see ourselves as He sees us.

The cross has offered us the freedom to lay down our chains of shame, guilt, condemnation, and low self-worth. Jesus looked at me, and He looked at you as He was hanging on the cross. And said to every single one of us, “You, my beloved daughter, are worth every second. I love you.”

Let’s make a pact. The next time one of us begins to play the dreaded soundtrack of shame, let’s instead select the song of grace, redemption, and freedom.

Join the Conversation

Does Satan attack you and make you feel like a failure? How do you combat his lies and lean into Jesus? We’d love for you to join the conversation in the comments below.

The next time you begin to play the dreaded soundtrack of shame, select the song of grace, redemption, and freedom instead. Share on X

About Dawn Burtner

Dawn fell in love with words as a young girl, and God has paired this love for words with His gifts and call on her life to write words that point women to Jesus. She is passionate about women finding their sole source of satisfaction in Christ.

Jesus is the lover of her soul, and Dawn cites Luke 7:47 as the reason: “Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much.” She desires women to receive the forgiveness of Jesus and love Him with all their hearts, souls, minds, and strength.

Dawn lives in Virginia with her husband and their blended family. She is an avid runner, reader, and writer and loves to spend time with her dogs when she is not cheering on her children at tennis matches, baseball games, and football games. Dawn loves to study Scripture and share with others the lessons and applicable wisdom found within its sacred pages. You can find more of her writings on her website The Satisfied Soul.


If you liked this blog post, you’ll also love our anthology, Candid Conversations. While each story shares a unique perspective, the prevailing theme is that while we all struggle, there is hope to be found in Jesus. Get your copy from Amazon or click here to learn more.

Candid Conversations

2 Comments

  1. So many times we Christian women are able to comfort others about their worth while not really believing it for ourselves. I loved your story about writing all your sins down and then covering them with the “blood of the cross.” What a beautiful visual reminder to not pick back up what’s been covered and washed clean. Beautiful post, Dawn. This one’s gonna stick with me for a long time I’m sure.

    1. Thank you! I pray we both are able to continue to remember that through the cross, Jesus was able to declare “It is finished” over the penalty for our sins. Be blessed!

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