Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

Failure Leads to Something Better

Former President Jimmy Carter writes:

In 1966, I ran for governor of Georgia and lost to avowed segregationist Lester Maddox. [My sister] Ruth drove to Plains and listened while I deplored the poor judgment and racist tendencies of my fellow Georgians and vented my anger toward God. Then Ruth quoted James 1:2.
I said, "Ruth, my political life is over! It's not my goal just to grow peanuts, sell fertilizer, gin cotton, and build up a bank account. God has rejected me through the people's vote."
Ruth replied, "Jimmy, you have to believe that out of this defeat can come a greater life."
I responded bitterly, "There is no way I can build on such an embarrassing defeat."
Patiently, Ruth explained what James was saying. When we face trials with courage, we learn to endure and pray for wisdom. Wisdom leads us to depend on things made available to all through God's love.
Christ gives us courage to take a chance on something new. Ruth advised me to do something totally unrelated to my business or politics. Shortly afterward I was asked by the Baptist Brotherhood to go as a lay witness on a mission in Pennsylvania. I did, and it changed my life.

Related Sermon Illustrations

Lost Your Faith or Had None to Begin With?

Ian Leitch writes in Life Before Death! A Restored, Regenerated, and Renewed Life:

A businessman asked me if I would speak to his staff, and I readily accepted. One of his staff asked ...

[Read More]

The Necessity of Adversity

In an on-line article for Leadership journal, John Ortberg discusses how adverse situations are necessary for our spiritual growth. He writes:

Psychologist Jonathon Haidt had a hypothetical ...
[Read More]