If At First You Don’t Succeed
August 8, 2023

Today’s 333 Devotional: “If At First You Don’t Succeed”

A short poem from the mid 1800’s has been quoted to help kids and adults succeed in life. The poem is called, “Try (try) again.”

“Tis a lesson you should heed, Try, try again. If at first you don’t succeed, Try, try again.”

But is it correct? We see it in the life of many, like Thomas Edison who didn’t give up when he failed over and over again. It’s said before he found an effective filament for his incandescent lamp; he conducted some eighteen thousand experiments on other types of filaments. But one day in 1879 Edison found the right one, and his persistence gave the world the electric bulb.

The world is full of examples.

  • Jonas Salk worked three years with many failures before he developed the polio vaccine.
  • Abraham Lincoln failed in six attempts before he was elected the President of the United States.

But is this really the best way? Let me give you another.

“If at first you don’t succeed, try asking God.”

After their great success at Jericho, the children of Israel sent only 3,000 men to defeat the small town of Ai. But they were badly defeated. Instead of sending men back up to “Try, try again,” Joshua and the elders of Israel fell on their faces and inquired of God. It was then that God gave them success (Joshua 7).

After his victory over the Philistines, David found himself facing them once again. But instead of doing what worked before, he inquired of the Lord and was given a new strategy, and David again won a great victory (2 Samuel 5:17-25).

So, if at first you don’t succeed, or even if you do, inquire of the Lord and let Him direct your steps.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes.” (Proverbs 3:5-7a)

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