The billboard caught my attention: a photo of my favorite president, Abraham Lincoln, with the bold headline, “Failed, failed, failed. And then…” Now curious, I did a little digging and discovered some fascinating facts about our sixteenth president.
- He experienced a very difficult childhood.
- He had very little formal education.
- He failed in business at an early age of 22.
- He was defeated for the legislature at 23.
- He failed for the second time in business at 24.
- Being determined, he was elected to legislature at 24.
- His fiancee died when he was 26.
- He was defeated for speaker at 29.
- He was defeated for the electorate at 31.
- He experienced a very difficult marriage, starting at age 33.
- Only one of four sons lived past 18.
- He was defeated for Congress at 34.
- He was elected to Congress at age 37.
- He was defeated for Congress at 39.
- He was defeated for Senate at 46.
- He was defeated for Vice President at 47.
- He was defeated for Senate at 49.
- Finally, He was elected President of the United States of America.
Such a background makes me wonder: do I really have any problems? Imagine his discouragement, disappointment, struggle, depression, and rejection…yet he did not give up! He had a clear calling and he was determined to fulfill that call.
If one of our greatest presidents did not have the determination and bedrock self-discipline to persevere—no matter how many times he faced defeat or struggle—this nation would not have experienced the blessing of his leadership.
This is the kind of determination that we, as believers and life-givers, must exhibit. We must not be deterred by what we see happening around us in culture as its pace of running from God, from the Gospel, and from the value of human life increases at an alarmingly frantic pace. We are called to take up God’s full armor in order to resist and stand firm with prayers and petitions.
With God, failure is never final! Jesus really did defeat Satan when He overcame death and rose from the grave 2,000 years ago! This is the message I celebrate…because I sure have have had my share of failures in life!
Jesus did not fail. Jesus defeated death, and He now sits at the right hand of the Father in Glory! This gives me hope, endurance, and a vision to keep pressing through the struggles of life on this Earth.