Posts Tagged ‘success’

Success: Good success

June 9, 2017

Instead of the usual Verse of the Day, today we would like to discuss The Word of the Day for June 9, 2017: a simple seven-letter word, ”success.” The term has been individualized and defined and re-defined in countless ways. I recall hearing this definition in the late seventies: “Success is the progressive accomplishment of a worthy goal.”

Nothing succeeds like success, says the familiar slogan; indeed, success breeds success. I also recall this statement by Thomas Edison regarding the word: “Success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration.” In my early collegiate days, I remember a professor remarking that hard work always precedes success. He went on humorously but truthfully to explain that the only place where “success” comes before “work” is in the dictionary.

In one of the first entries posted on my blog, I discussed “success” and its antonym, “failure,” noting how they are connected in this definition which introduces the last stanza of a familiar poem of great inspiration entitled “Don’t Quit.”

Success is failure turned inside out—
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,

As I was thinking about the entire subject of failure and success, another poem came to mind, a very penetrating expression of the view of life through the eyes of the noted 19th Century poet, Emily Dickinson, who wrote these words:

Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne’er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need.

In response, I wrote this poem to express my view regarding success in light of those who fail to achieve it:

I Have Sipped a Sweetness

Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete,
but [only] one receives the prize? So run [your race]

that you may lay hold [of the prize] and make it yours.

25 Now every athlete who goes into training

conducts himself temperately and restricts himself in all things.

They do it to win a wreath that will soon wither,

but we [do it to receive a crown of eternal blessedness]

that cannot wither.

1 Corinthians 9:24-25 (Amplified Bible):


Said the fragile lady who never knew such bliss,
“Success is counted sweetest by those who ne’er succeed.”
In her enigmatic style went on to say this:
“To comprehend a nectar requires sorest need.”
Said the dark poet of another time and place,
I have sipped a sweetness beyond any honey,
The rush in the blood of the one who wins his race,
A foretaste of the glory to come that inspires
Self-discipline to sublimate carnal desires,
Casting aside every weight, each besetting sin,
I press toward the mark, the prize now set before me
And run with patience the race I’m destined to win.
Then shall I know ultimate ecstasy of victory
And savor God’s goodness for all eternity.

The highest degree of success is available to every believer who practices the principles embodied in the Word of God. Success is a personal accomplishment, and God, our Father, is a personal God who desires that each of children of attain their hearts’ desires according to His will. As sons and daughters of God our success hinges upon our commitment and faithfulness to the Word of God. Indeed, we can prosper and attain “good success”, as proclaimed in Joshua 1:8 (NKJV):

8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

We close with a Scripture Memory Song based on Joshua 1:8-9:

Facts say failure; faith says success

March 6, 2017

Philippians 3--13-14

“The Quote of the Day” for March 6, 2017 is another word of encouragement related to “faith”:

“Facts say I am a failure. Faith says I am a success and an overcomer.”

The verse associated with this statement comes from Revelation 12: 10-11 (AMP):

“Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom (dominion, reign) of our God, and the authority of His Christ have come; for the accuser of our [believing] brothers and sisters has been thrown down [at last], he who accuses them and keeps bringing charges [of sinful behavior] against them before our God day and night. 11 And they overcame and conquered him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, for they did not love their life and renounce their faith even when faced with death.

One of the first blog entries posted on Dr. J’s Apothecary Shoppe came to mind, in that it dealt with “failure and success.” The following excerpt examines these two polar opposites in light of the Word of God:

According to the facts, in the minds of many, as believers, we have been designated as total failures due the circumstances of our lives at this time. In response, we ask does it really matter what “the facts say.”  Facts change constantly, but our faith is grounded in the truth of God’s Word which never changes. The following document raises a question and offers an encouraging response:

What is failure?

Failure doesn’t mean that you are a failure;
it does mean you haven’t yet succeeded.

Failure doesn’t mean that you have accomplished nothing;
it does mean you have learned something.

Failure doesn’t mean that you have been a fool;
it does mean you have a lot of faith.

Failure doesn’t mean that you have been disgraced;
it does mean you were willing to try.

Failure doesn’t mean you don’t have it;
it does mean you have to do something in a different way.

Failure doesn’t mean you are inferior;
it does mean you are not perfect.

Failure doesn’t mean you’ve wasted your life;
it does mean you have a reason to start afresh.

Failure doesn’t mean you should give up;
it does mean you must try harder.

Failure doesn’t mean you will never make it;
it does mean it will take a little longer.

Failure doesn’t mean God has abandoned you;
it does mean God has a better way.

Author unknown

  The Living Word Library © 1996 – 2008

Many believers view their lives as a failure or success. After some serious consideration, I have changed my thinking from accepting the duality of “either/or” to embracing concept of “both/and.” In the process I have gone from the designation of being a “total failure” to “not being as successful” as I would like to have been in certain categories.

Failure and its antonym, success, are connected in this definition which introduces the last stanza of a familiar poem of great inspiration that was recently posted entitled “Don’t Quit.”

Success is failure turned inside out—
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,

Many will readily embrace the title of failure and simply give up when they are actually so close to the successfully finishing their race. The Scriptures encourage us with these words:

Philippians 3:13-14:

13Brothers and sisters, I do not consider that I have made it my own yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the [heavenly] prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

We Press toward the Mark

And let us not grow weary while doing good,

for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

Galatians 6:9

I press toward the mark for the prize

of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:14

We know we must not be weary in all we do;

In due season we will reap if we do not faint,

As we press toward the mark of the prize and pursue.

God has thus spoken, and His word is ever true.

According to their labor God rewards each saint.

We know we must not be weary in all we do.

Though our new season may appear long overdue,

Despite how bright or bleak the picture life may paint,

We must press toward the mark of the prize and pursue.

Christ alone will restore and give life and renew.

Though pressures of life overwhelm, we must not faint.

We know we must not be weary in all we do.

To obey, giving honor where honor is due,

To move freely in the spirit with no constraint,

We must press toward the mark of the prize and pursue.

Each day God extends mercy, making all things new.

Gladly we learn to serve the Lord without restraint.

We know we must not be weary in all we do.

We must press toward the mark of the prize and pursue.

In closing, let me make this final statement about what appears to be failure. I’m sure that if we scrutinized our lives closely we could easily be overcome by a sense of failure in light of the circumstances that surround us. We can take courage and be strengthened, however, by the example of someone whose life ended most tragically without apparently accomplishing his mission. He died a shameful death, and those who believed in him, deserted him. Yes, Jesus Christ, in the eyes of the world was a disastrous failure at the end of his life. However, we know “the rest of the story,” and I am writing these words of exhortation to you because of his triumph over the worst possible circumstances—even death itself. Because he was a super-conqueror, in all these things we are more than conquerors.

So take heart, my brothers and sisters, and be encouraged. The best is always yet to come. So we must encourage one another and remember that when we experience what seems to be failure, that “a set-back is just a set-up for a comeback.”

We also take comfort in the timeless universal truth, a quotation for all season that “This too shall pass.” This expression is set to music and rendered in a most inspiring manner as Yolanda Adams reminds us: “This Too Shall Pass”