Failure Is NOT Fatal . . . IF – Part 4

Christ's Charge to Peter by Raphael, 1515. In ...

Christ's Charge to Peter by Raphael

Each of us will at one time or another fail the LORD, and when we do, usually it will be because we have taken our eyes off Jesus. What a perfect time for Satan to tell us that we are finished and our future is destroyed!

That is not God’s message to us.

One of our greatest goals is never to fall. Our greatest glory, however, is not in never falling, but in our Savior Who never fails, Who holds us up, and Who lifts us each time we fall.

We may not be able to reclaim the loss, undo the damage, or reverse the consequences. However, our beautiful Savior restores us, and we can make a new start. We can be wiser, more sensitive, renewed by the Holy Spirit, and more determined to do right.

The best part is Peter’s story does not end in Luke 22:62.

Peter did not have to live the rest of his life with a heavy burden of sorrow and regret.

Instead, after he grieved, Peter ministered to the others grieving over their failures.

Later, Jesus asked Peter to become a leader of the church.

“So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of Jonah, do you love* Me more than these?’

“He said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord; You know that I love** You.’

“He said to him, ‘Feed My lambs.’  He said to him again a second time, ‘Simon, son of Jonah, do you love* Me?’

“He said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord; You know that I love** You.’

“He said to him, ‘Tend My sheep.’  He said to him the third time, ‘Simon, son of Jonah, do you love** Me?’

“Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, ‘Do you love** Me?’ And he said to Him, ‘Lord, You know all things; You know that I love** You.’

“Jesus said to him, ‘Feed My sheep. Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.’” John 21:15-18

Jesus had a plan and purpose for Peter. He has a plan and purpose for each of us in spite of our failure.

Failure is not fatal if:
We recognize that everyone fails,
We remember that God’s love and forgiveness are not dependent upon our success,
We learn and grow from our failures, and
We put our failures behind us and go on.

We already know that we need to give our sin to God, but we can do more than that.

When we sin and fail the Lord, we should not give up. We should repent, get back up, and try again. He still has a plan to use us.

Rebuke Satan when he condemns you as a failure.

He is a liar.

Take your eyes off yourself and look at Jesus, saying, “I’m going rise up and keep trying. With God’s grace and the power of the Holy Spirit, I’m going to let God change me from one degree of glory unto another into the image of Christ. I will keep my eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of my faith, the One Who is able to keep me from falling.”

If you have fallen, won’t you look unto the Lord Jesus, reach up to Him, and let Him put you back on the Way again? Confess and repent of that sin that made you stumble. Ask God forgive you and renew you with His Holy Spirit so that you will have power to be His witness again.

____________________

*agape love, God-like love, as in 1 Corinthians 13
**phileo love, brotherly love

Peter was upset, here, because of the dwindling degrees of love that Jesus was asking him about. Remember His huge vows of loyalty, loyalty greater than all the others, now squelched by his realization of his humanity, of reality, of how much Jesus knew and how little he knew, how quickly and predictably he failed. May we all recognize our frailty, stop living in denial, and learn to cling to Him ___________________

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4 thoughts on “Failure Is NOT Fatal . . . IF – Part 4

  1. Debby Hudson says:

    Katharine, how often we need this hopeful reminder. Especially that God’s love and grace aren’t dependent on our success. Whew! Thank you for these lessons that failure is not fatal.

    • katharinetrauger says:

      Thanks for this comment, Debby, and you are very welcoome!
      I have been surprised at how much I have benefited from working through arranging these posts, myself. I think we never outgrow the need for these reminders.

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