Epic Fail? :: Career Failure

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Sunday, October 30th

Failure goes with the territory of being human, and the workplace is a hard place to fail because it’s so easy to allow our work, our title or our role in some other arena of life to define who we are. Can God really turn the epic fails of our careers into something that can bring Him glory, and even bless us and others through them?

Work through the following Scriptures and questions on your own, and get together with your running partner, Life Group or friends and family to talk through what you’re learning!


  1. What big dreams has God given you? How has He equipped you to bring those dreams to life?
  2. What’s a mistake you made at work, or time you feel you failed at something, that made a significant impact on you or other people? What was the outcome of that experience, and what did you learn?
  3. Read Genesis 39:1-5. Have you ever found yourself in a job or a position that you didn’t want to be in? How did you respond? How did you see God at work in that situation, even if you resisted?
  4. Read Genesis 39:6-20. What have you done when people have hurt you or wronged you for doing right? How did that make you feel? What do you think God would want you to takeaway from that experience?
  5. Read Genesis 40:5-23. Have you ever worked really hard at a job, raising kids or some other endeavor, and not gotten the credit you deserved? How did it affect your dedication to what you were doing?
  6. Read Colossians 3:23-24. How does the thought of working as if God Himself is your boss potentially change how you approach your job or your responsibilities?
  7. What are some steps you can take to allow God to step in and redeem your perceived failures so that you can trust Him despite your circumstances and experience more joy and fulfillment in what you’re doing?


Genesis 37:28, 39:1-5 — So when the Ishmaelites, who were Midianite traders, came by, Joseph’s brothers pulled him out of the cistern and sold him to them for twenty pieces of silver. And the traders took him to Egypt…. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there. The LORD was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the LORD blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the LORD was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field.

Genesis 39:6-20 — Joseph was a very handsome and well-built young man, and Potiphar’s wife soon began to look at him lustfully. “Come and sleep with me,” she demanded. But Joseph refused… How could I do such a wicked thing? It would be a great sin against God…” One day, however, no one else was around when he went in to do his work. She came and grabbed him by his cloak, demanding, “Come on, sleep with me!” Joseph tore himself away, but he left his cloak in her hand as he ran from the house. When she saw that she was holding his cloak and he had fled, she called out to her servants. Soon all the men came running. “Look!” she said. “My husband has brought this Hebrew slave here to make fools of us! He came into my room to rape me, but I screamed… Potiphar was furious when he heard his wife’s story about how Joseph had treated her. So he took Joseph and threw him into the prison.…

Genesis 40:5-23 — While they were in prison, Pharaoh’s cup-bearer and baker each had a dream one night, and each dream had its own meaning. When Joseph saw them the next morning, he noticed that they both looked upset. “Why do you look so worried today?” he asked them. And they replied, “We both had dreams last night, but no one can tell us what they mean.” “Interpreting dreams is God’s business,” Joseph replied. “Go ahead and tell me your dreams.” So the chief cup-bearer told Joseph his dream first… When the chief baker saw that Joseph had given the first dream such a positive interpretation, he said to Joseph, “I had a dream, too… Pharaoh’s birthday came three days later, and he prepared a banquet for all his officials and staff. He summoned his chief cup-bearer and chief baker to join the other officials. He then restored the chief cup-bearer to his former position, so he could again hand Pharaoh his cup. But Pharaoh impaled the chief baker, just as Joseph had predicted when he interpreted his dream. Pharaoh’s chief cup-bearer, however, forgot all about Joseph, never giving him another thought.

Colossians 3:23-24 — Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

If you’ve yet to do so, we encourage you to download the Bible App by YouVersion on your smart phone. Create a free YouVersion account. Tap Plans > Discover > Search: Outreach New Testament > Start Plan. Then you can read along each day with us!


Scripture abounds with stories of those who have persevered in their faith, decade after decade, and consequently developed profound depth in their lives. These spiritual values are tremendously practical; we may find ourselves plugging away at jobs or relationships or dreams for years before achieving our goals! On top of that, mistakes can shatter our confidence and kill our dreams before they ever get a chance to flourish. The book of Hebrews in the Bible encourages us to “run with perseverance the race marked out for us,” because God has bigger dreams and hopes for us than we have for ourselves.

Dig deeper and explore these ideas by looking more closely at the lives of Joseph and Paul.

  • Genesis 37, 39-45
  • Acts 9-28 & 1 Corinthians 15

SPIRITUAL OUTCOMES — Steadiness & Perseverance

Learn more about dealing with your epic fails by working through the STEADINESS & PERSEVERANCE outcome.