“I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail.” But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.” (Luke 22:31-34)
If you have read the story you know that when Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, Peter and the other disciples fled. When confronted in the city as a follower of Jesus, three times he denied that he even knew Jesus.
What happens to Peter at this point? This is decision time for Peter. What he does in this moment will impact the rest of his life. What do we do with failure?
Where did Peter go after he denied Christ? We don’t know. The Bible doesn’t say. But my guess is that Peter did what most of us do when we fail. When we mess up, the last thing we want is to be around people. Sin separates us from God, and God’s people. Sin isolates us so the devil can convince us that we have messed up so big, no one will want to be around us.
The Bible says, Peter went out and wept bitterly. Wherever he was that weekend, he must have felt alone in the world.
After his repeated and forceful denial of Jesus in the courtyard, the Bible says Jesus looked at Peter. Imagine this moment! At the crowing of the rooster, Jesus looked through the crowd around Him, and made eye contact with Peter. Peter was immediately convicted of his sin; not only of his denial of Jesus, but also of the pride that led him to think he could never deny Him.
Amazing, after Jesus rises from the dead, Peter is the first disciple that Jesus seeks out. After all that, the risen Christ sends for him! He doesn’t write Peter off as a permanent failure. Jesus still has plans for Peter, plans to give him a hope and a future, plans to give him a second chance.
A couple of things to remember when we fail:
1. You have failure in your past, but God has never given up on you.
2. Your past will either define you, or refine you.
There is no public humiliation. Jesus is not making an example out of Peter. He is not cast out or excluded. He is restored. He is forgiven. His past does not determine his future!
We have all failed. We all have a parts of our past we are ashamed of. We all have some regrets.
Receive this truth: Failure is an event, not a destiny.
We can’t become all God wants us to become without moving past our guilt and into the future with purpose. Our God is a God of second chances.
Today’s Challenge: Determine that your failure won’t be destiny. Reach out for God’s forgiveness and restoration. He offers it freely.
- How does it make you feel to know that God offers second chance?
- What impacts you from the story of Peter's failure and restoration?
- What stands out to you about the statement: "Failure is an event, not a destiny?"
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