The Joy of Failure

Scripture: I Peter 5:5-6 – Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders.  Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”  Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time…

“This man also was with him” (Luke 22:56b); “You also are one of them” (Luke 22:58a); “Certainly this man also was with him, for he, too, is a Galilean” (Luke 22:59b).  Peter’s failure of denying Christ not once, but 3 times is well known, especially among believers.  To Peter’s surprise, he actually denied Jesus just as the Lord told him he would do (Matthew 26:34).  He denied his Lord, his teacher, his friend; Peter had grown to love Jesus so, much so he even cut off the ear of a guard to protect Jesus (John 18:10).  In the moment of denying the Lord, Peter, in his self-absorbed flesh and humanity probably felt justified.  Then shortly after he probably realized he had failed the Lord.  Amazingly, Jesus already knew Peter would fail, just as He knows we will, as well.  God makes room and preparation for our failure; for He knew us before the world began.  Failure has the tendency to make us feel worthless and futile.  But God considers failure everything, but; He considers it necessary and purposeful?  Most of the time, failure reveals truth; truth that we can only realize once we are fully submerged in the failure; the act of failure can teach us something about ourselves.  Yes, we can read the Bible and say amen; we can sing a song and cry, Hallelujah!  But there is something about being thrown into humility; a lowly state which makes us so appealing to the Lord; He is ready to give us the grace to climb out of the pit.  We become someone God trusts to perform specific tasks.  For it is not until we are humbled that God can mold and shape us into who He wants us to be.  It seems such a backwards phenomenon:  but once lowered, then and only then are we ready to be raised, exalted, even.  As we are humbled, then we can truly serve and be the one God has chosen us to be.  We have purpose; we are the called; yes, we are His children, and everything about us was determined before the world began, even what is sent to trouble us.  Once humbled, we can set out to capture the purpose for which He has designed us.  After Peter was shown to himself, though still not perfect, he was able to absorb God’s Word.  He became a great witness for the Lord; he is named a mighty servant who preached the gospel with great conviction.  He lived fearlessly and declared Jesus to be the Savior of the World.  Peter lost the shame and gained the burden to serve the Lord with great fervor.  Oh, the hope and joy Your love gives!

Prayer:  Lord, teach us to love the way You embrace us; teach us the importance of loving Your favor; teach us to love the way You bring us to ourselves; teach us to know that You do all things well; that even those things that bring us shame, You are able to fully deliver us and cause us to be raised and used for Your great work.  We thank You, Oh Lord, for the examples You give to bring about our understanding of You and Your Word; All so that we may know You; We thank You, in Jesus’ Name-Amen!

(by Lisa Williams)






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