Do you want to know how to overcome failure biblically? Most of us have felt like a failure at one time or another. It’s hard to admit because who wants to look like they don’t have it all together?

In reality, you go to bed after a horrible day and pray the next day will be better. Often, a new day gives a more hopeful perspective on life, and we move on.

Unfortunately, there are other days when you wake up and think it was all a nightmare, only to realize you are not only living it, but you are also the star of the show.

It feels worse than the day before, and you wonder if life will ever return to normal.

In a recent post about difficult times, I showed why God allows pain in our lives and uses it for good. To illustrate the point, I used a word picture of a garden and how God, the Master Gardner, sometimes has to do surgery on his plants (us) to bear fruit.

This post will teach you how to overcome failure biblically or loss with another word picture. I will continue with the garden theme, and you will see how everything has a purpose.

Nothing goes to waste, especially your horrible failure or loss.

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How to Overcome Failure Biblically

Ironically, I am using a garden as a word picture, but I’m not a gardener by any means. However, I do like planting flowers in my backyard. Unfortunately, I have a black thumb, and I kill my plants one way or another.

When they are dead, my husband puts them in the compost pile.

Just like plants, things in our lives die, too. Perhaps a dream, health, a marriage, a wayward child, or even a lost job. The most painful is the death of a loved one.

Whatever the loss, we wonder where God is in our darkest hour. Then, the composting process begins.

“Every branch in me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that bears fruit He prunes. that it may bear more fruit” (John 15:2 ESV).

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What is composting?

Composting is a natural process of turning dead things (organic material) into a dark, rich substance. It is the  “soul of healthy soil.”

When you add compost to your yard or garden, your plants grow bigger and stronger. In fact, this is a good way to keep pests away.

The best kind of organic material is not only dead things but poop. Isn’t it ironic this is what gives life?  Dead things and waste are the best way to start something new.

However, it takes time for the compost to be usable. It must sit for three or four months to break down and rot.

What about the dead things in your life? Or something you think is a waste?

Perhaps you have a sin that you let go too far, and it almost destroyed you. Whatever it is, God can use this horrible failure for good if you let Him.

It may be too raw right now, but with time and healing, your experiences can help bring life to others if you first deal with them.

For this to happen, you have to be willing to be broken (sit it in the compost pile for a while) so it can turn into fertilizer. This is how to overcome failure in your life. Allow God to work.

What you thought was a terrible failure or loss is actually fertilizer for something new in the future. 

I think this verse sums it up best. It is a composting verse!
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  Romans 8:28 (NIV).

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How Do You Recover From Failure in Life?

If you want to learn how to overcome failure, return to the beginning. Acknowledge the failures and discover the root of the problem.

When was the seed first planted in your heart?

Many times, it goes back to a childhood hurt. Rejection from parents, siblings, other kids, or another type of traumatic event that changed your thinking.

Usually, lousy thinking is rooted in a lie in some way. You will probably keep going in circles until you deal with the original hurt and forgive.

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In a nutshell, this how to overcome failure and succeed in life:

  1. Acknowledge the failure. (Pull up the plant)
  2. Deal with the lies, hurt, and pain. (Put it in the compost pile)
  3. Forgive. (Sit and let God work)
  4. Start new habits and behaviors. (Pull it out of the pile)
  5. Help others who are struggling. (Compost)

Sounds easy, but this process could take a while. I had to seek counseling. Number two took me 16 months to unravel. This is truly how to overcome failure.

How to Overcome Repeated Failure?

It’s not easy to know how to overcome failures and disappointments that happen repeatedly. However, failure seems to be the best teacher when it comes to growth.

Think back on your own life. When have you grown the most or run to God? It probably wasn’t when you got that last promotion or award.

We start looking outside of ourselves for answers only when we face obstacles and trials. Sadly, this is when many people get tripped up and blame God when, in fact, He may actually be drawing us to Him through our failures.

If you repeatedly fail at something, it is time to evaluate your actions. Some serious prayer is in order.  Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Is God moving me in another direction?
  2. Am I stubborn or unteachable due to pride?
  3. Do I need to ask for help?
  4. Am I stuck in bad thinking?
  5. Am I willing to change and grow?
  6. Do I need to forgive?

If you want to know how to overcome failure, be willing to explore the “root” of what is going on. It will take some digging to get to the truth.

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How Do I Be Positive After Failure?

If you want to be positive after a failure, then let God take your pain and use it to help others who are a few steps behind you.

Furthermore, use your failures to plant new things in your own life. Your suffering and experiences will not be a waste when you do this.

Ironically, it is the best way to help you heal from any lingering pain you may still have from your failure or loss.

I pray you have learned something about how nature reflects life. The Master Gardener knows what He is doing, and you can trust him to help you learn how to overcome failure biblically.

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Did you learn how to overcome failure biblically? What have you done to make something good out of your pain? Comment below. 

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Are you struggling with family issues that have resulted in a family rift or a family estrangement? Are you feeling a sense of shame, anger, or rejection?  Check out my book Estranged: Finding Hope When Your Family Falls Apart on Amazon or at your favorite digital store.

In it, I share my own experience of a seven-year estrangement from my Christian family and how we eventually reconciled. Furthermore, I provide practical advice to help you navigate your family issues.

Don’t let the pain of estrangement hold you back. Allow God to assist you in healing, no matter what has happened within your family. Remember, there is always hope to be found, even when things seem to be falling apart.

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Julie is a wife, mom, teacher, author, and blogger. She writes about Christian family living, marriage, parenting with a touch of humor.


  1. Way too candy coated for me. Whoever wrote this has never watched their child die of cancer. There is no lesson to be learned there.

    • I am so sorry. I can’t even begin to know how you feel losing your child. I think there is nothing more painful than burying a child. Can I explain God? No. But I do know that he takes things that are horrible and redeems them in some way for good. Will it ever replace your child? No. But I know God is with you. He grieves too. Why didn’t He save her? I don’t know. It comes down to faith. Do we believe in God or not? When it looks grim, what do we choose? I choose to trust Him even when I don’t understand, even if I am angry at Him, or I feel betrayed. I still choose to believe He is good and one day it will all make sense. I see through a very dark lens that doesn’t show the whole picture. So until then, I grieve with you. I sit beside you, hold your hand, and love you even if you hate God right now. Your loss was great, and I hurt too.

  2. I need to be broken the compost pile before I can be used to fertilize others too. That is so true. That is where the enemy loses the battle. When God takes what was broken and makes it beautiful for others again. Love this post …

  3. Yaa Attobrah Reply

    Thank you. This is very powerful. Lots of insights to ponder over. Bless you

  4. I can most definitely attest to when we help others it can help you continue to heal in your own brokenness. I loved the analogy that you have used here. It really puts this process of what we can do to help us both avoid and heal in failure and loss.

  5. What a beautiful song! I like all your analogies to a garden (despite having only a very small green thumb and hating gardening as a kid). My loss was of my job back in 2017 after months of trying to stay in the area and getting nothing. It took six months to find a new job, but holy cow — it’s so much better, the people are amazing, I’m doing stuff I love, and I feel valuable. And none of that would’ve happened if I had held on to my old location so fiercely. I also probably wouldn’t have started my blog either!

    • That is a really neat story. I am so glad you let God compost a really hard situation and let Him work. It is sure hard to see any beauty when you are in the situation, but when you look back you can see how you grew.

    • This is so true. We definitely don’t know how God is going to use a horrible failure for good. He has it all in His plan.

  6. I love this! I needed to sit in the compost and be broken before I could be used to fertilize others too. I love how you put this post together. Very tender, creative, honest and deep all at the same time! Blessings to you in 2019! ❤

    • Donna, thank you for this sweet message. I appreciate your honesty. It is so hard to be broken, but God does use it for good.

  7. I particularly love your composting analogy. So good! God allows things that are dead, gross, or bad in our lives so that glory will be brought to His name and good will be formed in our lives through it. He will shape us and make us beautiful through the very ugly things we have to deal with in our lives.

    • Kristin, this is so true. He can use our worst and turn it into something good if we will let Him. He gets the glory for every situation. I am so glad He can do something awesome with our messes.

  8. Loved this post! I too can tend to fail to take inventory early on and my thoughts and my words can sometimes get away from me! Thank you for this encouragement!

    • Diane, I am so glad this resonated with you. I think word pictures can say things that regular words can’t. Thanks for your comment.

    • Who would have thought compost could be used in such an amazing way. God can use the worst of us for something good.

  9. You’ve given us a great way to change our perspecitve when we are in the midst of a challenging situation. Thank you for your insight! God bless you!

  10. Thank you for the inspiration – no matter how bad things have been or if the memory lingers on. Sometimes we do the best we know at the time. Ignorance is often “not bliss” and can make some huge mistakes. Good post and a healthy reminder!

    • I think it is such a great reminder that nothing is wasted when God is involved. We are blessed to have a God who loves us and will do anything to redeem a loss or failure.

  11. This is a hope inspiring post for those of us who ask the question can God use someone like me. Beautiful metaphors with the gardening analogy. Thank you.

    • I am so glad you were touched by this post. Gardening word pictures are so rich with parallels to real life. It was fun to “dig” out the truths.

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