Read Romans 8:31-39.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
It’s not how many times you fall down, it’s how many times you get back up. That’s what they say. And it makes a lot of sense. The same is true in our life of faith. It is inevitable that we will fall short in our efforts to live a righteous life in Christ.
One of Jesus’ closest disciples knew a lot about falling short of what he wanted to do for Jesus. We think of Peter as the most dynamic and powerful of the disciples. In Acts, he boldly preaches and is even imprisoned for his faith. Tradition says that Peter was executed as a martyr.
But you remember that Peter went through a lot of setbacks in his life of faith too. He rashly wanted to join Jesus walking on the water, but quickly began to sink. He boldly asserted that he would die with Jesus just a few hours before falling asleep as Jesus prayed desperately at Gethsemane and denying that he knew Jesus at all.
So the closing chapter of the Gospel of John records one of the most beautiful encounters of Jesus’ ministry. He commissions Peter to be a leader and pastor among the others. He not only gives Peter the gift of forgiveness. Jesus gives Peter the gift of letting him know that he is still a useful part of God’s kingdom and plan.
So if Peter can fail spectacularly and still be used so powerfully by God, so can you. God is not finished with you. He has called you. You belong to Him. Your failures do not disqualify you. You may have heard other people tell you that God is done with you.
They are wrong.
Love in Christ,
Greg Burriss, Pastor
Rocky River Baptist Church Siler City, NC