Scripture Reading: Matthew 14:29-30
One of my favorite quotes states thus, “Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker! Failure is delay, not defeat. Failure is a temporary detour, not a dead-end street.” Abraham Lincoln said, “Those who never fail, never do much of anything.” The Apostle Peter was very familiar with failure. In fact, he was a man of miracles, signs, wonders, and blunders.
The point of chronicling Peter’s failures is not to belittle him but to illustrate that the people God uses in great ways are still very human. And, if we see how God’s grace enabled him to overcome failure, it will fortify our faith that God will do the same for us. Here are Peter’s nine recorded failures: (A)-He sank when he took his eyes off Jesus—Matt. 14:29-30. (B)-He verbally rebuked Jesus (not a good idea)—Matt. 16:22-23. (C)-He wrongly compared Jesus with mere mortal men—Matt. 17:1-5. (D)He refused (at first) for Jesus to wash his feet—John 13:8. (E)-He slept through prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane—Matt. 26:40-43. (F)-He tried to defend Jesus and cut off Malchus’ ear—John 18:10. (G)-He denied any association with Jesus three times—John 18:25-27. (H)-He quit the ministry and returned to fishing—John 21:3. (I)-He was hypocritical about fellowshipping with Gentile believers—Gal. 2:11-14.
It is easy to criticize how Peter sank on the stormy sea and fail to realize that he did something no other human being (except Jesus) has ever done – walk on water. So it’s better to try and fail than to not to try at all. Obviously, Peter rebounded and became a prominent leader in the New Testament church. This shows that failure should not have the final word in our lives. Failure is not final if we do the following four things:
1. Keep an eternal perspective. While Peter adamantly swore he would never deny Jesus, the Master predicted the opposite: “Will you lay down your life for My sake? Truly, truly I say to you, the rooster shall not crow till you have denied Me three times” (John 13:38). Then Jesus added, “Let not your heart be troubled … in My Father’s house are many dwelling places. … I am going to prepare a place for you” (John 14:1-3). In other words, “Peter, you are going to fail, but you will recover from it. Don’t focus on your temporary failures, focus on My eternal purpose for your life.” Failures are merely events in life. Just because you fail doesn’t mean you are a failure. It simply means you’re human. Failure is just a temporary part of life. Stay focused on the big picture of God’s eternal plan. One day you’ll look back and laugh at your failures.
1Kgs 17:7-16; Ps 4:2-3.4-5.7a.8(R.7b) Accl Mt 5:16; Gosp Mt 5:13-16 WEEKDAY
Prayer Points:
1. Lord, help me let go of my fear of failure. Forgive me for not living in faith, and help me from this moment on to live with bold confidence in You, in the name of Jesus
Exercise: Never lose faith in God’s plan for you.
Meditation: Proverbs 29:25.