MOVING BEYOND FAILURE
Friday, June 16, 2017
  Nehemiah 4-6 | Acts 2:22-47

“Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: ‘Before the cock crows, you will disown me three times.’ And he went outside and wept bitterly.” ?—Matthew 26:75

Peter knew who Jesus was and seemed to be His most loyal and enthusiastic supporter. If he could do something for Jesus, there was no need to look further, but during the Last Supper, Jesus said to him, “This very night, before the cock crows, you will disown Me three times.” Peter declares, “Even if I have to die with You, I will never disown You” (Matthew 26:34-35). The Gospels record how Peter denied even knowing Jesus three different times, and when he heard the rooster crow, he broke down and wept bitterly.

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus summed up Peter’s inner struggle and it is a struggle we all face. When Peter failed to stay awake and pray with Jesus, Jesus said to him, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41). The road to failure is usually paved with good intentions, and there is no reason to believe Peter’s devotion to Jesus was anything but genuine. The admirable part of his spirit, however, could not find its translation into action, and a short while later, ?after denying Jesus, Peter was forced to face his own moral and spiritual bankruptcy.

At the end of our rope is when we most often meet with God’s abundant grace. It is one of the most wonderful discoveries we can make—to come out of an over-inflated sense of our own ability to live for Christ and realize we simply cannot do it. Recovery for Peter did not mean perfection or an easy road. It meant acknowledging where he was and being realistic in his assessment of who he was and his own capability.

Jesus does not leave Peter in failure, tears and grief. His reinstatement comes after the resurrection of Jesus when He said to him, “Feed my lambs,” and “Take care of my sheep” (John 21:15, 16). This commission was fully realized on the Day of Pentecost when the life of Christ came to live in Peter. Christ became the power within him to preach with authority and boldness the first Gospel message to thousands of curious onlookers.

Our most trying times and deepest failures give God access into our lives. That is why we should never be afraid of failure, because God will use it as the catalyst that generates a profound desire to not only be Christ-like, but to lead others to Christ. It is the crisis of the deeper life that unlocks the key to our transformation in which Christ becomes our life. Moving beyond failure, as Peter did, leads us to that beautiful discovery that when we are faithless, Christ is faithful.

PRAYER: Lord, I have failed so many times, especially in my obedience to You. Thank You for not giving up on me, but teaching me to have a greater dependence on You.


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