Truth be told, we are all successful at failure. We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. In fact, believers have all been redeemed from devastating failure — we are saved, forgiven only by the blood of Jesus and not of our own works lest any should boast. God can redeem us from our worst failures.
A time of failure can be a devastating time in our Christian life, making us fearful and hesitant to serve again. Our thoughts could be, “I could never be used by God; I could never serve again.
Well, never say never. Peter blew it. He failed big-time! Yet, he learned to rely on God’s love and power to not only serve again but do so boldly, even “turning the world upside down.”
In the 4 gospels description of the denial, Peter follows Jesus as He is being led away from the garden, but Scripture notes that he follows at a distance. Failure comes when we start to follow at a “safe” distance. This distance gives Peter room to deny Jesus three times. Peter has done the very thing he said he would never do.
Peter has failed the Lord to whom he said he would be faithful, but Peter is not alone in his failure. Unfortunately, we have all denied Christ. When we do things in our own will and strength, we deny Jesus as Lord of our life. Staying close to Jesus, instead of following from a distance, leaves less room for failure. It’s harder to deny Jesus when we walk closely with Him.
So, did Peter quit? Give up as a failure, never to serve again? No. John 21:15‐19 records the wonderful restoration Jesus brings to Peter. “Do you love me?” Jesus asks him. “You know that I love you,” Peter responds. Yes, Jesus knew that. But He also knew that Peter needed to say it. The restoration brought Peter close to Jesus again. Strengthened and empowered by the Holy Spirit in Acts 4, Peter boldly proclaims Jesus and thousands are saved!
The name of Jesus — the name Peter didn’t want to recognize before — he now proclaims as the cornerstone, the only name by which salvation is possible. Peter has been redeemed and restored from devastating failure.
When we fall, we must get back up or we will never move forward. Maybe you have seen videos of runners who have fallen, and a fellow competitor stops and helps them up and across the finish line together. You may not get a ribbon for that, but I believe you will get a reward! It is reward to help a fallen brother or sister in Christ back up again.
Acts 4:13 tells us “When they observed the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed and recognized that they had been with Jesus.
Can you imagine being so bold and walking so closely with Jesus that people would be “amazed” (or as one translation says “astonished”) by your life and testimony? The question is, can people tell that you have been with Jesus? Your life, failures and all, is a light for others to see Jesus in you.