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“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.” Peter said, “Lord, I am ready to go to prison with you, and even to die with you.” But Jesus said, “Peter, let me tell you something. Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.”
(Luke 22:31-34, NLT)
At that moment the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Suddenly, the Lord’s words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And Peter left the courtyard, weeping bitterly.
(Luke 22:61-62, NLT)
Today’s Reading: Luke 22
Listen to Luke 22 on her.BIBLE.
I woke with dried tears around my eyes like sleep dust. My ankle throbbed beneath the covers, reminding me of yesterday’s news: my injury was serious. Despair set in. I thought I was getting better, but now recovery felt entirely out of sight. Soon, shame set in. I wasn’t handling the waiting well; my circumstances were dictating my life. I told myself that I should trust Jesus and ask Him for peace, knowing that He is in control and has my best intentions in mind. But like my recovery, He felt out of reach.
I wonder how Peter felt when he looked Jesus in the eyes after denying Him — not once but three times, and just hours after Jesus had foretold it. Peter had propped himself up as Jesus’ “ride-or-die” companion. He swore his loyalty to Jesus, boldly proclaiming he was ready to follow Him anywhere, into anything, including intense suffering.
In verses 61-62, Jesus helps Peter see the bitter truth about himself: Peter would follow, but instead of clinging to Jesus, he would abandon Him first.
Peter remembered this prophecy in the moment, but did Peter recall the grace-filled encouragement that came before it? Jesus had prefaced His warning with reassurance in v. 32. In the same conversation, Jesus revealed that Peter would fail miserably and that he would recover. Jesus’ prayers would preserve Peter’s faith, and Peter’s recovery would come with the godly purpose of strengthening his brothers.
Likewise, when you mess up, Jesus isn’t surprised or distant. He saw your failure coming. He intervened for you on the cross. And Hebrews 7:25 states that, just like He did for Peter, Jesus forever lives to make intercession for you. So that, like Peter, you will reach the other side of failure — for His glory and your good.
What is one failure or disappointment in your life for which you struggle to imagine recovery or restoration?
Reflect on how Jesus had the foresight to see your struggle coming and also has the foresight and power to provide a way of recovery. Imagine what that way could be. Experience God’s grace in revealing to you the truth about yourself and your circumstances. Surrender to Him, trusting that He will give you the grace you need now and that He will carry you through and give you purpose on the other side of disappointment or failure.
What happens when I feel like I’ve failed God? Explore more about God’s forgiveness when we inevitably fail Him.
Chealsia Smedley lives in Ljubljana, Slovenia, where she works with the campus ministry of Cru®. She revels in speaking her second language, Slovene — blunders included. She earned a degree in magazine journalism from Ohio University and strives to write stories that explore her passions for truth and connection.
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