The story of the apostles of Christ was filed with many and varied failures. They failed to understand the teachings of their Master (Luke 18:34); they also experienced failure at exorcising demons (Matthew 17:17-21).
Furthermore the disciples failed to exercise humility (Mark 9:34) when they argued about who was the greatest among them. They also fell asleep at the greatest hour of agony of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:43) and all of them abandoned Him.
Peter denied Him
Judas betrayed Him
Thomas doubted him.
One of their greatest failures is found in John 21. The group of disciples went fishing (instead of waiting at Jerusalem) and caught nothing. This was the second time it had happened (Luke 5).
But this was a “good” failure because Jesus was there. There was a lesson to be learned and a blessing to be received. A “failure” with Jesus by your side is no failure at all. I rather fail and have Jesus in my heart than to win this world and lose my soul.
A good failure is one that it is ordained by God so that He can show his glory. This is what happened to the blind man (John 9) and to the patriarch Job. This is what happened here in John 21, as the tired and frustrated disciples were unable to catch even one fish, but when Jesus spoke (and they followed his command) everything changed: There was more fish than they could handle in their boat.
When you fail at anything, don’t look at it as an abject failure, but as an opportunity for God to work in our lives and show his glory. What we call “failures” are in fact doors that God is closing in order to protect us, or doors that He is opening to bring different blessings upon our lives.
Paul spoke of one of his greatest failures in this way:
“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
He, who had been used of God to bring healing and salvation to the multitudes, couldn’t heal himself. He had to apply what he had written in Romans 8:28,
“And we know that all things work together for good (even our failures) to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28 Emphasis added)