HomeBible TopicsBible Topics: Fear of failure

Definition: A worrisome concern about a possibly unsuccessful performance or endeavor. Fear of failure is often born of pride; it’s fear of what others will think, fear of embarrassment, fear of being ashamed.

1. Fear of failure comes from a lack of faith, which actually causes failure; for only faith succeeds.

* Number 13:27,28,30-33; 14:1-3,34 [Ten of the twelve returning spies brought back a fearful report that the giants in the Promised Land would make it impossible to conquer. This caused the people to fear — thus resulting in a 40-year setback in claiming the land:] And they [the 10 fearful spies] told him [Moses], and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. 28 Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there. 30 And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. 31 But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. 32 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. 33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight. 14:1 And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. 2 And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would God we had died in this wilderness! 3 And wherefore hath the Lord brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? Were it not better for us to return into Egypt? 34 [God says:] After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know My breach of promise.

* Job 3:25 For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.

* Isaiah 7:9b If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established.

* Matthew 13:58 And He [Jesus] did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

* Matthew 17:16,19,20 And I brought him to Thy disciples, and they could not cure him. … 19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him [the evil spirit] out? 20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

* Philippians 4:6,7 Be careful [anxious or worried] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

* James 1:6,7 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

2. If we’re trusting in the Lord, we have nothing to fear, for Jesus never fails.

* Number 23:19 God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the Son of man, that He should repent: hath He said, and shall He not do it? Or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good?

* Job 42:2a I know that Thou canst do everything.

* Psalm 37:5 Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass.

* Psalm 55:22 Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

* Jeremiah 32:27 Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for Me?

* Matthew 9:28b Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this?

* Matthew 19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

* 2 Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.

* Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

* 1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.

3. If we try to do things in our own strength by carnal means, we have everything to fear because we will fail.

* 1 Samuel 2:9b For by strength shall no man prevail.

* Psalm 33:16,17 There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength. 17 An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength.

* Psalm 127:1a Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it.

* Jeremiah 17:5 Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.

* John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing.

* 1 Corinthians 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

4. When we feel week and incapable, God can more powerfully work through us.

* Isaiah 40:29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength.

* 2 Corinthians 1:8b,9 We were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: 9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead.

* 2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

* 2 Corinthians 12:9,10b And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. … 10b For when I am weak, then am I strong.

* Hebrews 11:34 [God’s men of faith] quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

5. However, if we fear failure in accomplishing what God calls us to do, we are not really doubting ourselves, but the Lord and His Word.

* Romans 9:20,21a Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed it, Why hast Thou made me thus? 21a Hath not the potter power over the clay?

* Numbers 11:21-23 And Moses said, The people, among whom I am, are six hundred thousand footmen; and Thou hast said, I will give them flesh, that they may eat a whole month. 22 Shall the flocks and the herds be slain for them, to suffice them? Or shall all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, to suffice them? 23 And the Lord said unto Moses, Is the Lord’s hand waxed short? Thou shalt see now whether My Word shall come to pass unto thee or not.

* 1 Samuel 27:1a [Even though God had promised him the throne, David feared failure.] And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul. … [See 16:13.]

* Luke 1:13,18-20 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. … 18 And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. 19 And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. 20 And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.

6. If we are believing and obeying His Word, we cannot fail!

* Joshua 1:8 This Book of the Law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

* Deuteronomy 29:9 Keep therefore the words of this Covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all that ye do.

* 2 Chronicles 20:20b Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe His prophets, so shall ye prosper.

* Psalm 1:2,3 But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

* Matthew 7:24,25 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

* James 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

7. Keep your eyes on Jesus and His promises!

* Psalm 27:13 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

* Matthew 14:25-31 [As long as Peter kept his eyes on Jesus, he walked upon the sea:] And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. 27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. 28 And Peter answered Him and said, Lord, if it be Thou, bid me come unto Thee on the water. 29 And He said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. 31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth His hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

* Philippians 3:13,14 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

* 2 Timothy 1:12b I am not ashamed: for I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.

* Hebrews 12:2a,3b Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith; Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. … 3b Lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

8. As long as we desire and obey the Lord’s will above all, He’ll see to it that we don’t fail.

* 2 Chronicles 16:9a For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect [loyal, fully committed] toward Him.

* 2 Chronicles 31:21 And in every work that he [King Hezekiah] began in the service of the house of God, and in the law, and in the commandments, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart, and prospered.

* Psalm 37:23,24 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and He delighteth in his way. 24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with His hand.

* Psalm 68:28 Thy God hath commanded thy strength: strengthen, O God, that which Thou hast wrought for us.

* Psalm 94:17,18 Unless the Lord had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence. 18 When I said, My foot slippeth; Thy mercy, O Lord, held me up.

* Ecclesiastes 8:12b Surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before Him.

* 2 Corinthians 3:4,5 And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: 5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.

* Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the Day of Jesus Christ.

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