If we are honest with ourselves, we’ve all had that moment where we wonder if we will ever change. We fall back into a horrible habit, secret sin, or foolish failure. In that moment, it feels like any progress we have made in our walk with God is erased in an instance and we’re right back to where we started.
Peter was the leader of Jesus’ disciples, supposedly a mature Christian, and had just this dark day. No less than three times, when Jesus needed him most, Peter failed Jesus. Although Peter failed Jesus, Jesus did not fail Peter. Their relationship is an encouragement for us and example of 2 Thessalonians 2:13 which says, “if we are faithless, he remains faithful…” As Jesus does, He forgave Peter, they reconciled their relationship and had this conversation
John 21:18-19: “‘Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.’(This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, ‘Follow me.’”
Peter’s greatest fear was that he would suffer like Jesus. This is the entire reason he denied even knowing Jesus as the cross approached. Now, Jesus prophesied that Peter would die by being drug to his own cross and having his hands stretched out to be nailed like his Lord’s. Peter was never perfect, but he did make progress.
In the opening chapters of Acts, after Jesus returned to Heaven, Peter stepped up to lead the church, preach the sermon at Pentecost, see some folks healed, and even got arrested for preaching Jesus. Eventually, he wrote two books of the Bible and died as Jesus promised.
History outside of the Bible reports that when they came to Peter, he was pressured to again deny Jesus or be crucified. Peter told them to crucify him upside down since he was unworthy to die like his Lord. So he finished his race well despite stumbling a few times along the way. God wants the same for you.
How does Peter’s story encourage you?