Even if all are made to stumble because of YOU, I will never be made to stumble. Matthew26:33
Personally, I think we should not be too harsh on Peter, for, I suspect, we have all made statements that we believed were true of us, only to find that we failed miserably. It is true in my own case and so I can readily identify with Peter. We all would like to be the hero and believe that, “We would be one to run into a burning building and save the child,” when in Reality we really don’t know what we would do unless we were actually put in that situation. This is what happened to Peter, he believed that he would be brave and stand up for Jesus but instead he failed. Some would call it presumption but I believe that he did believe that he would come through.
In my own case, many years ago, I embarked on a quest of sorts. I felt led to start a ministry and believed that I was called, still do, and so I did. I remember making statements of how I would see it through and that nothing could deter me, although, I did find it much harder than I had imagined it would be. I thought that if this was GOD’S Will then it should be easier, but those who follow the LORD will find bumps and potholes along the way, as they are tried to test their metal. Anyway, I believed that the LORD was first in my life and HE showed me otherwise. In a time of Fasting and Prayer, I was presented, in a vision, a blank notebook and told to put in it my heart’s desire. Though, as my sister said, I was honest, the LORD and Ministry were not on the Top, but something else was. Oh, I was elated at the vision and told others, but from that moment on the ministry was being given to others. Like Peter when I realized what was happening I was in sorrow and felt like a failure. Unlike Peter, who received deliverance on Sunday, mine took much longer as I pined over the fact that I had failed the ONE WHOM, I believed I could serve. It wasn’t that the LORD did not forgive me, but it was another failure on my part to seek that forgiveness and then to forgive myself.
Paul told us to be wary when we stand lest we fall. It is good to bold for Christ but we don’t even know our own hearts in most cases. It may be better to just do than to boast that we will and then not. Proverbs talks about someone who falsely boasts of giving, being like great clouds without rain. When we boast of what we will do and then do not produce, when the situation arises, we are like that cloud without rain, or all talk and not action. How many have stood by as one was drowning and had not the courage to jump in and save? As I said earlier, we all believe we are heroes, but circumstance will either prove us or show us.
I have since asked the LORD to make sure that I do not fail HIM again in this way, though because I am human, I know I fail HIM in other ways. This one failure still comes to mind, as I’m sure that Peter’s did for the rest of his life. When he was to be crucified, Peter, asked to be crucified upside down, because he thought himself not worthy to be killed in the same manner as his LORD, Jesus. I believe that this shows that Peter was ever cognizant of his failure and did not want to repeat it.
There is a song that I have loved since I first heard it, and it is, HE’S Alive, and it is a song about bold talk, failure, sorrow and the Redemption and Forgiveness. I struggle to get through it, for it brings back memories of my own failure and also of GOD’S Great Grace and Forgiveness. From the time the ministry was wrenched out of my hands I have been on a journey and I know that this journey is not complete, as the LORD shows me more areas that need work. I’m good with it because it shows that HE LOVES me and has not forsaken me.
When, next time, you hear this account of the Apostle Peter and begin to think how weak he was, Step back a moment and ask yourself what you would have done, were you there. It may be good to remember that All the others forsook Jesus as well, so Peter was not alone, he may have been the boldest but certainly not alone.
I know, from experience, what failure is like and many others do, if they will admit it, but the LORD uses those failures to show us where we are. It’s awful easy to be bold when we are among friends but when push comes to shove maybe not so much. What is important is that the LORD Knows us and if we let HIM, HE will help us to know ourselves better, for HE understands that we don’t really know what we are made of. It is a journey through Faith, and as Paul tells us, the gifts and calling are without repentance. In other words GOD has not rescinded what gifts we have been given nor does HE rescind our Calling, for all that we go Through and all our failures and successes are for growth in our faith. Faith that is directed in the right place, IN GOD, and not in us nor our abilities, for without Christ we can do Nothing.
If you have failed the LORD, HE is waiting for you to seek HIM and HE wants you to forgive yourself and learn from it. Like Paul we are to learn, but to forget about yesterday and press on. GOD has not moved from you and HE wants you to Succeed in HIM. Jesus Loves You!!!