Shame, guilt, failure…despair
How could he have been so proud and joined the other disciples earlier in the day arguing with them about who would be the greatest…
How could he be so zealous before, willing to protect Jesus to the point of drawing his sword and cutting off the servant of the high priest’s ear… (vs 50)
In Luke 22:33 we see Peter telling Jesus that he was:
“willing to go to prison and even death.”
How could he go from one minute being so confident in himself, his abilities, his commitment and within a few hours, a few changes and a few questions find himself sitting around a fire in the courtyard of the high priest watching Jesus being interrogated from afar? (vs 55)
Hours later, Peter was drowning in the despair of his choices, his actions, his responses…..his lack of bravery.
Ever been there? I know I have. The regret. The poor decision that washes over you as your mind replays the event over and over again, each time etching the memory and the pain a little deeper into your heart.
If only he could have a second chance.
A “do over”.
A chance to make things right.
A chance to make a different decision, a better decision.
Jesus had warned him before it all began…
“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith many not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” -Luke 22:31
Jesus knew before it even happened Peter would deny him 3 times that night, we see this in verse 34, but if you look closer into verse 31 you’ll see two important points…
The first one is that Jesus prayed for Peter (Simon).
“I have prayed for you, Simon (Peter), that your faith may not fail…”
Satan may have wanted to crush Peter, discourage him, make him mess up so badly that he could never rise up again and be the leader God made him to be…but Jesus went before Peter…before he ever denied Him, just like Jesus goes before us and prays on our behalf (John 17:20) He prayed that Peter’s faith would not fail.
Was it shaken? Yes.
Did it falter? You bet.
Was his faith destroyed? No.
Then Jesus brought in the game changer…
“And when you have turned back….”
Peter, you will fail……you will be broken by your choices. You will be riddled with guilt. You will be ashamed by your cowardness…you will fall and not want to get up.
BUT you will.
You will grow from this failure, Peter. You will grow from the pain of your choices and YOU WILL TURN BACK!
And WHEN you do, STRENGTHEN your brothers!
Do you see it? Jesus was already extending grace and forgiveness to Peter before he ever even needed it.
So what about you, friend?
Do you carry a burden that is too much to bare?
Have you had your own “hours” of denying Jesus and now are living in shame and guilt over your past choices?
Have you asked forgiveness?
Have you repented?
If so, then turn back to Jesus and rest in His grace. He freely gives it and it’s ONE SIZE FITS ALL.
“He allowed Peter to fail spectacularly so he would finally understand that grace was the key to serving God and his kingdom. Not by his own strength and courage, by only by God’s constant grace and mercy would Peter be able to deliver Jesus’ message to the world…a message that would then be wrapped in the grace and mercy he had come to know so well.”- Sally Clarkson, Ministry of Motherhood
Choose today to get up, to brush yourself off….to turn back.
It’s not to late.
Jesus extends grace and open arms.
Love God Greatly!
For those of you who are struggling with forgiving yourself or embracing Jesus’ grace, please know that I am praying for YOU today.
P.S. Don’t forget coming this Thursday night…our 3rd webcast featuring Darlene from TimeWarp Wife.