“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you,Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22: 31-32
This week’s message at church centered around the account of Peter’s greatest failure, his not once, but three times denial of Christ. (On a side note, aren’t you glad that following Christ doesn’t have the same “three strikes and you’re out” rule as baseball?)
As I reread my notes and these verses this morning, I was reminded, again, that God, and the faith we cling to, is victorious over our sins and our failures. I love how the prayer Jesus prays for Peter reflects this Truth…
“But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back…”
Did you notice that? Jesus is not hung up on the failure. Instead, He focuses His attention on the solution to the problem…our faith in a Savior whose power and strength is infinitely bigger than any wrong turn we might take in this life.
I love Jesus’ comment…”and when you have turned back...”
Yes, failures and sins will throw us off course.
Yes, our propensity to let pride rule our hearts and guide our steps might lead us some place we never thought we would end up.
Yes, fear can temporarily paralyze us or prompt us to hide from the Truth…but, when we turn back, we will discover that the One we put our faith in hasn’t gone away.
He is still where we left Him…sitting on His throne, patiently waiting for our return.
“and when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” I love how Jesus ends that. “strengthen your brothers.” He doesn’t tell Peter that all is lost or that he will have failed one too many times. He doesn’t tell Peter that he should spend the rest of his days living with a chain of guilt or shame wrapped around his neck. No, Jesus reassures him and us that once we return to His light…even our greatest failure can be redeemed and useable for His glory!
Today, what if we journeyed through our day living (really living) as if we truly believe this…with all our heart?
Nothing is wasted. Beauty from ashes.