Move Beyond the Fear of Failure

by | Apr 10, 2019

It’s human nature to fear failure, right? But as Christ followers, we no longer have to be controlled by fear (Romans 8:15). That’s good news, but so many stop there and don’t have a clear strategy for walking in the freedom Christ died to give us. Yes, he not only freed us from sin, but also from being beholden to fear – and that includes fear of failure!

We all want to experience success and know that our work is making a difference. But we can’t do anything of significance by staying safe. That means we have to take risks. Growth, impact, and enduring success require risk. Thank God, we don’t have to take risks alone.

Four years ago, we had a vision for pursuing partnerships with other marketplace ministries. We knew that we could not begin to achieve the full potential we had for national impact alone. At first, we struggled to wrap our minds around this new idea. It wasn’t always clear how we could partner. It took persistence, prayer and faith to persevere with this strategy.

Today, we are enjoying several amazing partnerships. Two of them are with YouVersion and Theology of Work. In September 2017 we launched our first YouVersion reading plan in partnership with Theology of Work. About that same time God gave us a vision for equipping one million leaders of faith in 10,000 companies by 2025. We knew we would have to ramp up, so our goal for 2018 was to equip 10,000 people. By the end of 2018 we equipped 146,000 people with our YouVersion reading plans alone! We had to do our part, but God did the heavy lifting.

Here are some lessons we’ve learned, and you can apply, to the God-sized ideas in your work.

  • Pray for God to provide direction. When you have a goal to shoot for or a problem to solve, ask God what He wants you to do in prayer. John 16:24 tells us, “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”
  • Seek God’s will in His Word. God’s Word has answers for our work. By studying what He says about things related to what you are working on, His Holy Spirit will reveal new ideas that will lead you to new solutions. Matthew 6:33 tells us, “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
  • Make sure your faith is in Him. We can say we have faith, but do you stop to see what or who it is in? I know I’ve been guilty of saying I have faith and then depending on my own strength, experience and ability. Be sure your faith is in the only One who can actually help you see those big ideas to fruition – Jesus Christ. In 2 Corinthians 2:5 Paul tells us where to place our faith when he says, “so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.”
  • Be obedient and trust. If God has placed an idea on your heart and you have peace that it’s aligned with His will, your responsibility is to take action out of obedience to what God is calling you to do. Then trust God to do the rest. He is faithful to His promises.

The next time you feel fear, remember how big God is and that He is on your side. Invite Him in through prayer and His Word. Take action based on His leading – then watch what happens. When we partner with God, He’ll do more than we could ever imagine (Ephesians 3:20)!

Photo of Catherine Gates

Catherine Gates

Catherine Gates is Executive Director of Women in the Marketplace, a nonprofit marketplace ministry that equips working women to confidently pursue their faith and career for the glory of God. She is also the author of The Confidence Cornerstone: A Woman’s Guide to Fearless Leadership. Learn more at womeninmarketplace.net.