Out of the ashes of apparent failure success often arises. All of us fail from time to time. It is a necessary part of success. Thomas Edison failed a thousand of times before he discovered a scorched cotton thread made the best filament for an incandescent bulb and today we enjoy light at the flip of a switch. Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” He eventually went bankrupt five times before he built Disneyland, whose idea was rejected by the city of Anaheim because the city fathers felt it would do nothing but attract riffraff. Imagine that! One of Beethoven’s early music teachers called him “hopeless as a composer,” and yet he composed five of his greatest symphonies after going deaf. Failure is far more common than success.

Failure is where we learn the ropes, pay the price, and determine whether or not something is worth doing. Failure separates the genuine from the “wanna be’s.” Failure is the galvanized foundation that success builds on. There is no such thing as an instant or overnight success. Elvis Presley was fired from the Grand Ole Opry in 1954 after only one performance and told, “You ain’t going nowhere son. You ought to go back to driving a truck.” Although Van Gogh painted over 800 pictures during his life time, he only sold one to a family member for about fifty bucks. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team.

Failure is not a title we sow on our uniforms as we play out the game of life. Failure is the grass stains on our game jerseys from having been knocked down only to rise again. If you get up every time you will never be a failure. Jesus spent 3 ½ years pouring his life into twelve men and what happened? One sold him out for thirty pieces of silver, one denied him three times, and the other ten ran away and hid like cowards. The Roman government condemned him and executed him as an enemy of the state. He was buried in a borrowed tomb. At the end of that day, I’ll bet most everyone who knew him or knew of him thought, “What a failure!” But—three days later, out of the ashes of apparent failure Jesus arose, the ultimate success story and victor through the power of the Holy Spirit.

What about you? “Well, I’m not Jesus,” you might be thinking, but you’re still breathing! You’re not dead yet! Don’t give up your dreams! The same power that raised Jesus up from the dead lives in you and you belong to Jesus. Perhaps your nose is bloodied and your arms and legs are weak—get up anyway! Perhaps you are ready to give up. Don’t! Get up! Those ashes of what should of, would of, or could of been may just be the launching pad for a rising star. You will never know—unless you dust them off and stand up.