Luke 22:54-62. Please read God’s Word before my words.
Peter’s betrayal was probably his ugliest since he had started to walk with Jesus. Three times he denied the Christ he loved, overwhelmed by self-preservation and intimidation. Then he fled the scene, abandoning his friend, leader and God, and forsaking all divine plans for his future. It was catastrophic!
And yet, because the Almighty is good and merciful, that wasn’t the final chapter of Peter’s faith story. It never is! Sin and weakness, lies and pain, doubts and failures, can never have the last say in a believer’s life. Our Lord is unequivocally, permanently, passionately committed to carry, deliver and restore His children.
Listen to me, descendants of Jacob,
all you who remain in Israel.
I have cared for you since you were born.
Yes, I carried you before you were born. I will be your God throughout your lifetime—
until your hair is white with age.
I made you, and I will care for you.
I will carry you along and save you.
~ Isaiah 46:3-4
That is heart of the New Covenant of grace!
(…) Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.
~ Luke 22:31-32
Jesus was saying to Peter “I have prayed for you, you will come back to me; Satan can’t destroy you, you will accomplish what I created you for: serving others and glorifying Me.”
In the midst of your struggles, as you look in the mirror after your mistakes, do you hear His Holy Spirit whisper the same promise to your bleeding heart? Listen to His still small voice: “I’m bound to you forever, My child; hold on to My grace, it will be sufficient; I have prepared a place for you at the end of the good fight; you will overcome because no force can supersede My love for you!” This was Peter’s testimony, a beacon of hope… if we dare believe it for ourselves.
But how did it all change for the better for Peter? Well, a major trigger of his transformed life is the focus of this post: REPENTANCE. Peter didn’t harden at the sight of his weakness; he didn’t try to cover or rationalize it, he didn’t compare himself to others or blame God… The Bible tells us that he broke in tears, crushed and ran away. Pride was gone, replaced by a sobering sense of his frailty and sinful nature, of his inability to be a true disciple without God’s help despite exalted claims and years of companionship with Jesus.
Repentance was Peter’s way out of darkness and slavery away from His Creator. The Greek word used in the New Testament means “to change one’s way of life as the result of a complete change of thought and attitude with regard to sin and righteousness”1. Repentance first happens when you say “no more” to a life without God and accept Jesus as Savior and Lord because of His sacrificial death on the Cross for your sins.
However, it shouldn’t stop there! Repenting (confessing) sincerely must become a reflex for a believer, not for salvation but for fellowship. Sin erects a wall between God and us; we should run to Him, ask for forgiveness AND strength to change. We were not made to be stuck in a cycle of defeat, repentance, restoration, falling back… There is provision in God for victory! We can be freed from besetting sins, bad habits, wrong thinking, character flaws, addictions, destructive relationships, etc. Long-lasting change is possible by grace through faith!
All we need is humility to recognize we broke God’s law by making self-seeking choices, mistreating others, putting things/people before Him and so on. When my actions, thoughts, and words are below God’s holy standards, which hurts Him all the more since He gave me everything required for godly living, I must run to the throne of grace.
May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus
our Lord. By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have
received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his
marvelous glory and excellence.
~2 Peter 1:2-3
Any other attitude is dangerous. David, Paul, Peter and others from Bible times to today have learned the importance of allowing God to search our hearts, convict us and transform us.