Not sure if I am the only that feels this way sometimes. One day I feel like that tree that has no leaves, completely bare and stripped. Other days I feel like that oak tree so planted and FILLED with beautiful and colorful leaves. In every case to God, I believe we still light up before Him.
So I am guessing that is how Peter felt when he denied Jesus 3 times and then on the day of Pentecost when he stood up and 3 thousand were added that day! What a way to bounce back!
Peter fell forward! God is good.
It is just getting through those bare days, keeping in focus and in alignment with the purpose of God over your life. Jesus help us to get through it! I keep hearing you loud in my soul so I know that you are close by during these times that seem to vary over my life. It is not like I am here standing alone. It just looks that way at times. It’s just a moment then I know You are pressing upon me that mandate. I am here for that.
Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. “You also were with Jesus of Galilee,” she said. But he denied it before them all. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said. Then he went out to the gateway, where another servant girl saw him and said to the people there, “This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.” He denied it again, with an oath: “I don’t know the man!” After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, “Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away.” Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!” Immediately a rooster crowed. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.
This is a good place to be because when we were bad, we would be so careless, “Oh Well!” Then continue down the pathway of death. Then we were saved! And we go through that process. You know that RIGHTEOUS people fall! We are human. But we have God to meet us there and we don’t stay down. The bible says in Proverbs 24:17, “For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes!”
You have two choices…either you fall backwards and backslide or you fall forward and continue in the journey– that’s progress! In life we all will have troubles come our way. Calamity falls on the just and the unjust. Life is just life. We will each have similar struggles. The differences are the solutions we choose!
In all four gospels and all accounts are the fall of Peter. Jesus tells him… YOU WILL FALL! Then most certainly, his denial of Jesus Christ is written four times. There is power of choice! Your outcome doesn’t have to be that way.
Peter messes up and weeps.
Judas messes up and hangs.
Peter was a bold man, a very vocal individual, expressive and outspoken. Yet many of us are like this and we get in trouble just by being so expressive and emotional.
But Peter got up! He met Jesus again and WAITED for the promise! Falling forward is admission – humility – surrender – acceptance. It is promptly acting upon that issue. On many instances we are afraid to admit our weakness or when we fall because we will be judged. We need that safe place….Jesus is it! We need a place where we can be free, protected, empowered, renewed, strengthened…a place and platform to grow so that we get to that ultimate purpose.
Suzanne Eller wrote in The Mended Heart,
“Why is the church not a safe place to talk about our struggles and receive grace and support in a loving community.”
Jesus set the love – He raised the standards.
I want to raise the standards too!
But go, tell his disciples AND Peter ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see Him, just as He told you.’
Do we expect it to be so easy? NO!
The bible says that Peter wept bitterly! A sign of utter brokenness. The book of Mark says he broke down and wept. As he recalled the words of Jesus, “You Will Fall Away!”
In the Gospel of Luke, we see the power of God’s saving strength and purpose.
“Simon, Simon, Satan has ASKED to sift all of you as wheat. But I prayed for you Simon, that your faith may not fail and when you have turned back,
STRENGTHEN YOUR BROTHERS!”
Everyone will be sifted…it wasn’t just for Peter. He is just showing us through the scriptures that He does see that one! Don’t hang yourself spiritually. Don’t kill your purpose. As the enemy comes to bring that shame, guilt and rejection, God came to give you His GRACE, love and redemption!
He came back and strengthened his brothers and sisters!
How did he get to be the powerful Apostle Peter in the book of Acts… Jesus reinstates him in John 21:15-17, for every call – to cancel the fall.
“Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Do you love me?”
“Do you love me”
Peter was able to recover from that fall!
He fell forward into the perfect place for God to move.
So can you and I…
Gospel accounts of Peter as referenced above:
John 18:15-18, 25-27