Beyond Failure

Note from Jesus

Dear Beloved,

Over the next several days, I will take you on a journey with My apostle, Simon Peter. Before his denial of even knowing Me, I warned him about this upcoming sin. While he stumbled and fell, his faith didn’t completely fail. The verses below remind you of My warning to Peter. Later in the evening when I was arrested, Peter used a sword to try to defend me (John 18:10). He was trying to live up to his promise of being willing to die for Me. He was confused when I told him to put away the sword and that I must fulfill what the Scriptures had said about Me (John 18:11; Matthew 26:50-54). Later that same evening, Peter denied Me three times (John 18:16-27) — just as I had told him he would. After his third denial, I looked straight at him across the courtyard, and he went away devastated by his failure when he heard the rooster crow (Luke 22:61-62).

What should I do with those who claim to follow Me and then deny, betray, or abandon Me in a moment of weakness? What if they renounce Me in their confusion or fear or concern for their family or…? Even many of the so-called best and bravest have failed at one point or another. Does that disqualify them from My grace? Does that mean that I abandon them as they have abandoned Me? Are they to be cast out or distrusted forever? Definitely not!

Watch these next few days closely. See how I restored Peter. I didn’t just lovingly confront him and forgive him, but I restored him to leadership among the apostles! But for today, notice the seeds of grace I planted in Peter’s heart and the hearts of the other disciples.

Know that as you face your trials, My words are equally true for you: “I have prayed that your faith will hold firm and that you will recover from your failure and become a source of strength for your brothers …” My grace not only can sustain you, but it can also reclaim you when you have failed yet are still clinging — be it tenaciously or tenuously — to the hope that I will never leave you or forsake you!

Verses to Live

Over the next several days, I want to show you how I approach forgiveness and cleansing — the promise I made you yesterday using John’s words about My atoning sacrifice and My ongoing role as your advocate before the Father (1 John 1:5-10; 1 John 2:1-2). So read the words carefully and you will see how I was already preparing Peter to overcome his failure and sin and to be restored as My leader. Did his faith fail? No, it didn’t, not permanently. You will see that his failure — unlike Judas’ failure — wasn’t final. Was he confused? Yes! Was he overconfident? Absolutely! Did he deny me three times? Yes! Did he quit in his failure, or did he hold out hope beyond it? He held out hope. And so should you!

Simon Peter:

Lord, where are You going?

Jesus:

Peter, you cannot come with Me now, but later you will join Me.

Peter:

Why can’t I go now? I’ll give my life for You!

(John 13:36-37)

Jesus:

Simon, Simon, how Satan has pursued you, that he might make you part of his harvest. But I have prayed for you. I have prayed that your faith will hold firm and that you will recover from your failure and become a source of strength for your brothers here.

Peter:

Lord, what are You talking about? I’m going all the way to the end with You — to prison, to execution — I’m prepared to do anything for You.

Jesus:

No, Peter, the truth is that before the rooster crows at dawn, you will have denied that you even know Me, not just once, but three times. Remember when I sent you out with no money, no pack, not even sandals? Did you lack anything?

Disciples:

Not a thing.

Jesus:

It’s different now. If you have some savings, take them with you. If you have a pack, fill it and bring it. If you don’t have a sword, sell your coat and buy one. Here’s the truth: what the Hebrew Scriptures said, “And He was taken as one of the criminals,” must come to fruition in Me. These words must come true.

Disciples:

Look, Lord, we have two swords here.

Jesus:

That’s enough.

(Luke 22:31-38)

Response in Prayer

Lord Jesus, I live today confidently. I am not confident in my abilities to never fail, forsake or disappoint you, but confident in Your grace to reclaim and restore me. I promise never to take sin lightly. I will do my best never to presume on the generosity of Your grace. But for those times when I sin — I fail, forsake or deny you — I will not believe the lies of Satan that I am worthless and irreclaimable. I will remember Your grace and how You reclaimed and restored Peter, so I trust You can do the same with me. Thank You. And thank You Father for such redemptive love. In Jesus’ grace, I rest my hope and give You thanks. Amen.

‘A Year with Jesus’ is written by Phil Ware.

© 1998-2017, Heartlight, Inc. ‘A Year with Jesus‘ is part of the Heartlight Network.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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