What If I Fail? (Hebrews 11:39-40)

“But what if I fail? I don’t want to do this if I know I may fail!”

“Don’t worry, you’ve practiced for this. I know you are ready.”

I shook my head. I was in 9th grade and my orchestra teacher wanted me to audition for the state youth symphony. Although I was the concertmaster for our high school orchestra, we were a small school and I knew the high level of proficiency that was expected to successfully join this group. One girl, three years younger than myself, was already a recognized prodigy on the violin. Her parents even purchased her a violin that was rumored to cost $10,000. She was auditioning, what chance did I have? I would only embarrass myself. 

“It doesn’t matter if you fail, but if you don’t try, you will never make it. I would rather have you try and give it your best effort than simply give up.” My teacher smiled at me. “This is the time you have to try, when you are young. I know you…you’re not a quitter.”

Her words bolstered my confidence. I took a step of faith, successfully auditioned, and was invited to join the symphony. It was an important step in my musical development and personal growth. Years later, I would take a similar step of faith when I considered whether to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. 

All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us. 

Hebrews 11:39-40 (NLT)

Who are all these people? The Book of Hebrews lists dozens of great saints like Abraham, Moses, and David. They all trusted God by faith with an important qualification. None of them received all that God had promised. Why would anyone do this? Why would anyone suffer persecution, torture, and even death for a promise? The great 19th century Anglican priest and poet, G. A. Studdert Kennedy, eloquently wrote, “Faith is not believing in spite of evidence; it is obeying in spite of consequence.” Here is an important kernel of truth. 

When I took an even greater step in faith and confessed and repented of my sins and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, it was based upon the promises that God had revealed to me in the Bible. Like my orchestra audition, I did it in spite of the consequences, but it was not a blind faith. God promised that He would transform and conform me into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ. He gave me the witnesses of the great saints of the Bible who claimed the promise of faith and were rewarded, both in this lifetime and in eternity. 

What if I fail?

Failure is never an option when one is a child of God!


Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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