August 12: Jesus Never Fails
“Epic Fail!” That’s one of the overused catchphrases of recent culture. Whatever gets that label is supposed to be a noteworthy example of something gone awry. Often it is used in a comical way (as opposed to a tragic fail) of the kind that might win someone money on one of those funniest video shows—if only there’d been a camera running when it happened!
The old phrase “to err is human” could be paraphrased “to fail is human.” There is no one who has not experienced failure at some level. Perhaps it has not been a spectacular failure, but failure is part of the learning process, and we’ve all been there. Even those who attempt to avoid failure, by not trying at all, fail—because the surest way to become a failure at life is not to try, not to risk.
Our song says, “Jesus never fails.” It is so true. But think about it for a minute: what did it look like that Friday morning after His trial? What did it look like that Saturday morning after His burial? What did it look like to the followers of Jesus, like those walking down the road to Emmaus? To them, at those moments, it must have looked like failure. It wasn’t at all like they expected; there was no kingdom coming to them, no triumphant Messiah leading them to throw off the yoke of Rome. Epic Fail. Tragic Fail.
But was it? We know it wasn’t. There was more to what was going on than met their tear-swollen eyes and shattered dreams. God’s plan burst all their boxes to bits—because Jesus never fails. Up to that time, they had no idea what that meant.
Has it ever been like that in your own life, or that of someone you know? The earnestly prayed for outcome seems permanently beyond our grasp. It feels like Jesus has failed—at least, we are being tempted to believe that. Maybe the whole idea of thinking or saying that out loud is such sacrilege we would never voice it or let the thought firmly form in our minds, but the truth is, prayer on the matter has ceased. Maybe all prayer has ceased (what’s the use?). The emotional and spiritual pain is intense. The trust has stopped; although, again, we might not be able to bring ourselves to say that’s actually the case. Disillusionment and discouragement are constant companions.
Now, think about it once again: consider the feeling of Jesus’ followers during those dark days. It helps to remember that we aren’t the first ones to face the heartache of having our world rocked in a way that feels like the worst kind of failure—but it actually was the most glorious of successes. Once Jesus explained it to the men on the road they were filled with wonder. Of course! It had to happen that way! If it weren’t for the horror there wouldn’t have been the amazing glory in which we now stand.
Jesus never fails, but our understanding does, often. And we don’t always get to have the explanation at the time of the trial. Wouldn’t it be great if, at those horrible moments in our lives, Jesus would come to us and tell us why we have to go through them? But He didn’t explain it all before the cross, and He didn’t shout down any explanations from the cross. The Old Testament references weren’t clear until He explained them after His followers had gone through all the agony. Sometimes we see it at the time. Sometimes we understand it later. Sometimes we live out our lives without ever figuring out the why of it.
When our understanding fails, we need to hold on in faith to the truth that Jesus never fails. Part of this is bound up in His name, “Faithful and True.” The scripture has a lot to say about the faithfulness of God. Faithfulness is not just something He does; it is something He is—an essential part of His nature which colors all He does. His love is a faithful love, His grace a faithful grace, His purposes are faithful . . . None of these things will ever fail because He is faithful to keep them to the end.
Another reason Jesus will never fail is because of His power. Failure is about not being able to do something. Jesus has the power to accomplish all His purposes. There is nothing He has planned that He cannot achieve. He will not fail because He cannot fail. Read the scriptures with your eyes alert to the promises God makes, and when you see them, remind yourself “He never fails.” Even when, like the disciples, all you see around you is an epic, tragic failure, hold on in faith, because Jesus never fails!
Scripture References and Practical Applications
Let’s take a look at just a few of the many verses which speak to the ways that Jesus never fails in our lives:
How do these apply to what you are facing? What other verses speak to you about the sufficiency and supremacy of Jesus?
Grace and Power
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Salvation and Intercession
“Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens” (Hebrews 7:25-26).
Makes Us Perfect, Forever!
“. . . by one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy” (Hebrews 10:14).
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1-2).
“Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us” (Romans 8:34).
Keeps Us Unfailingly
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or danger or sword? . . . For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35, 38-39).
“I have given them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:28).
All Power and Authority Is His
“Then the end will come, when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father after He has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet” (1 Corinthians 15:24-25).
Fullness and Power
“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority” (Colossians 2:9-10).
Creator, Sustainer, Reconciler
“For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together . . . For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross” (Colossians 1:16-20).
by Sheri Cook, Director of Special Ministries