Often I think that success is God's stamp of approval. If God likes me, then I will be rewarded - with money, friends, fame, security, happiness, and a problem-free life.
The other side of this belief is that if I'm struggling, comparing myself to others, having a bad week, worried about work, or failing in anything, then that means God is displeased with me, and life will not get better unless I fix it.
This is the prosperity gospel, and it's not true.
It's not "the heart of Jesus and the kingdom he came to declare: small, on the margins, ordinary, obscure, focused on faithfulness and humility that requires dying to ourselves." (J.R. Briggs, founder of the Epic Fail Pastors Conference)
If God is for us, who can be[a] against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us....For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:31-34, 38-39
Those things present and things to come? That includes all our sin, all our mistakes. Everything. Nothing can separate us from God's love. We also can't earn it - it's grace, freely given, "not a result of works, so that no one may boast." Ephesians 2:9
What failures are hurting right now?
How are you striving for success to be assured of God's approval?