Today marks the 35th anniversary of the launching of Apollo 13 (April 11, 1970). Last Friday my family and I visited NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, and we were able to enter the mission control room from where that famous flight had been commanded. Throughout our visit, we kept seeing the words, “Failure Is Not An Option” imprinted on shirts and other souvenirs. When there had been an explosion on the Apollo 13 mission on its way to the moon, Gene Krantz had spoken those words to his mission control team, and of course we all know (especially after having seen the movie) that this had indeed been a successful failure, meaning that the crew had been able to safely return back to earth.
So, there had been a crisis (explosion) that had occurred on Apollo 13, and an intervention had been done during that crisis, that had enabled the astronauts to return to earth, without failure. This certainly sounds like a familiar pattern that I have seen in my own life during times of crisis. I know that I have failed on my own at times when I have tried to do things on my own, and did not turn to the One who could have brought me safely out of danger, but when I have chosen to exercise my faith in the Lord, I have yet to see failure as a result! Therefore I can safely say that WITH FAITH, failure is not an option with God in my life.
In Hebrews 11:6 (NASB), the Bible tells us that “without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him”. So if without faith I cannot please God, then with faith I am able to please God, which leads to His rewarding love in my life that can be demonstrated in many different ways. In other words, WITH FAITH, failure is not an option!
“Now faith is the assurance of things hope for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 (NASB) It’s the “not seen” portion of this verse that seems to be the key to what faith is all about, and in this entire chapter of Hebrews 11 there are numerous examples of the “men of old” who gained God’s approval by believing in God for their lives even though things looked pretty grim. By faith, Noah built the ark for many years, even though there was no rain, but eventually his faith protected him during the floods that eventually came. By faith, Abraham moved to a foreign land that God had promised to him and his descendants, but it was many years before Sarah bore their son that was to inherit this promised land. Then Abraham really exercised his faith when God asked him to sacrifice this son, Isaac, and as a result of his faith, his son was spared and fulfilled God’s promise of inheritance to Abraham. In each case, their faith resulted in God eventually fulfilling his promises to them, and showing that failure is not an option when it comes to faith in God!
I know that in my own life, there have been many times when I have exercised faith in God by believing that he will provide all that I need. Sometimes these provisions have been financial blessings. Other times have been safety in times of storms (literally) or during “near-miss” car accidents. He has even protected me during three car wrecks that have resulted in the cars being “totaled” (none of which were from a result of my driving). He has also healed me of various illnesses that threatened my life. I am not suggesting that it is not possible to be sick or to experience physical trauma while we are on this earth. But what I am telling you is that no matter what happens to us, if we have faith in God, then we will not fail to be able to endure anything that comes our way, whether it is some trial or temptation. How do I know? Because the Bible tells me so!. . . .
And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness."
II Corinthians 12:9a (NASB)
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
I Corinthians 10:13 (NASB)