Good Morning Gorgeous,
It’s a brand new day. A fresh new start. A brand new day to rise and boldly move in the earth as empowered followers of Jesus Christ.
I have been studying the stories of Peter. There is lesson after lesson after lesson in the stories of Peter and Jesus.
Here are just a few highlights of Peter’s walk:
He left everything behind to follow Jesus after he fished all night and caught nothing and then Jesus appeared and there were so many fish that they needed extra help to haul them all in!
He walked on water when he saw Jesus out walking on water.
He cut off the servant’s right ear and then watched as Jesus restored it.
He had full revelation that Jesus was the Messiah, Son of God.
He walked closely with Jesus as one of His disciples.
He was among those filled with the Holy Spirit in the first outpouring at Pentecost and He was the one who interpreted what was happening and he got up and preached boldly to the crowd.
He was in chains praying and witnessed them fall right off!
He was an ordinary fisherman until he came face to face with the living God. And then everything changed!
This Peter, Simon Peter as Jesus often called him also fell and he fell hard.
His fall is what I have been thinking about all week.
Friday night when Jesus was being tried, convicted, and crucified was the worst night of Peter’s life because not only did Jesus die a horrific death, but Peter did the very thing he declared he would never, ever do: he betrayed his Lord.
Imagine betraying and losing the very One whom you’ve spent years walking with, talking with, bonding with, a brother, and a best friend.
The One who saved you from a life without purpose and gave you new life.
The One who taught you a new way to live and interact with others.
The One who you gave up everything for to follow.
The One who you believed to be the Son of God, the Messiah who would save Israel, the One who would usher in a new Kingdom rule.
The One you loved dearly.
You were willing to die for Him or so you thought. Then it got real. The Roman officials led Him away. He wasn’t there to protect you. You felt vulnerable and scared and suddenly words of denial and curses were pouring out of your mouth faster than you realized what you were saying. The One you thought you could die for, you are now denying ever knowing Him.
It all happened so fast that and the fear gripped so hard, that you slipped back into the flesh and caught a glimpse of the man you used to be before Jesus. You acted in cowardice and fear. You temporarily forgot the miracles, the promises, and the prophecies of what was to come for those who persevered.
Jesus even told you this would happen. Last night at the Passover meal, Jesus told you and all of His disciples….
And then He said this….
Peter, you couldn’t believe that this would be your fate. You declared your loyalty.
Jesus explained what would happen..
Peter, you still couldn’t believe it!
You never thought it was possible. You promised the Lord Jesus that you were ready to die for Him if necessary.
You were bold in the Garden of Gethsemene too.
You were ready to keep your word and you drew your sword, but then He didn’t fight. He willingly went. He gave Himself over so calmly and submitted to the arrest even though you knew He has the power to stop it. And then the fear struck. And the betrayal followed. You forgot who you were momentarily. You forgot that you were chosen as disciple of the Living God. You forgot that Jesus had given you a new name.
You forgot and in the moments following your Lord’s arrest, you let fear become your lord and you bowed down to it.
Suddenly, you feel weak in the knees. Your heart falls and hot, searing pain courses through you. It’s a pain and a regret you’ve never known. There’s no previous pain that you’ve endured that matches this hurt. It’s regret and loss and deep grief. And now He’s gone.
How will you ever make it right? How will you ever live with yourself? How did this happen? As you weep, do you begin to think back over the promises? Do you remember the prophecy of what was to come?
Do you remember that Jesus prayed specifically for your restoration?
You can’t see it now. The evening is too dark. All slivers of hope seem lost. But, Jesus knowing that you would fall away already has your comeback planned!!
Jesus even prayed specifically for you Peter. He already has a redemption plan in mind. You just don’t know it yet…
Take heart, the story is so far from over!
Friends, Peter is at his lowest point here in scripture. But, God has a most amazing redemption coming. A redemption for ALL who will call on His name AND Peter! There is a special visitation coming to restore Peter!
Peter loved Jesus and was devoted to serving Him, but then when he watched everything go in a direction he never expected, he flees.
When things go wrong in our life,
When God’s plans look completely different than our plans,
When the future we had mapped out with Jesus takes a twisty bend,
our tendency can be to flee in fear too.
Jesus knows your struggles. Just as He knew Peter would fall, and He had a redemption visitation in store for him, so He also has plans for us when we fail.
Our failures don’t define us, Jesus alone gets to name us. And at the lowest of lows, there is STILL a redemption plan ahead for you.
Tomorrow, I will share about the way Jesus restored Peter. It is a most glorious glimpse into the heart of Jesus!
Dear Heavenly Father,
Your plans for each of us continues to dazzle and amaze me. Even though you know our weaknesses and how we will fall, you have a redemption story for each of your children. Thank You that Your scriptures demonstrate again and again that even when we are at our lowest, there is still hope.
In Jesus’s name, Amen.