When I was in school, I was driven by a fear of failure. In college, this provided the motivation for my one and only “all-nighter.” Fully optimistic after thoroughly covering all of the material, I thumbed through the pages of the exam the next morning only to discover my worst nightmare: I had studied the wrong information! I walked into class fully confident in my knowledge and walked out with a failing grade. Sometimes we are totally blind-sided by life’s obstacles, and we temporarily lose faith. Sometimes we have good intentions, but we still fall short.
- How do you respond to failure in your life?
READ THE WORD: LUKE 22:31-34 (ESV)
31 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, 32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” 33 Peter said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” 34 Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.”
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- How does Peter react when Jesus talked about his future shortcomings (vs. 33)?
- What imagery did Jesus use to describe Satan’s original plan for Peter? How did Jesus pray in response (vs. 31-32)?
- What is the significance of Jesus praying that Peter’s “faith may not fail”?
- Think a time in your life that you experienced your own shortcomings. How can failure become something God redeems to be used for his glory?
RESPOND TO GOD
Peter denied knowing Jesus after walking through life in an intimate relationship with him. In a moment of weakness, he messed up big time. Thankfully, Peter’s story did not end there. Jesus had prayed for him, knowing that he would deny him but that his faith would not fail. Jesus remained faithful and, therefore, called Peter to do the same. Peter’s story teaches us that it’s not a question of if we will fail but when. Just like Peter, when we do fall short, we are to run back to Jesus. With each mistake, there’s also a new opportunity to experience God’s mercy and grace all over again.
- Confess and surrender to the Lord areas where you may have failed or fallen short.
- Pray that God would give you new experiences of his grace and that you would share it with others.