"My child, don't make light of the Lord's discipline, and don't give up when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child." (Hebrews 12:5-6)
The apostle Peter is the best known of the apostles and possibly the best loved by most Christians. He was courageous, brave, full of life and a born leader.
Despite this, Peter didn’t always get things quite right but, we can learn much to help us by observing how he dealt with the aftermath of these situations.
We are all familiar with the cry of Peter, when having stepped out of the security of a boat on a stormy night, he begins to sink as he walks towards Jesus.
But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me! (Matthew 14:29)
On another occasion, when Jesus began to explain to his disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things, Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.””
Finally, in a time of extreme weakness Peter did the unthinkable, he denied three times that he knew Jesus.
One reason why Peter came through these times to victory was that he refused to give up. He refused to throw in the towel. Yes, he had made a mistake, but he didn’t allow that mistake to end his relationship with Jesus. He didn’t go to Jesus and hand in his resignation as an apostle, citing that he just wasn’t the man for the job.
Peter didn’t sit down and take offence when Jesus rebuked him. Nor did he have a pity party and buy into the lie that he just wasn’t good enough. He accepted his mistake and got up to try again.
I think, however, the main reason why Peter stuck to the course even in times of failure was quite simply because he loved Jesus. The thought of not having Jesus as a part of his life was unbearable. He would have taken any rebuke, public or private, so long as he had his friend Jesus on his side.
Aren’t you glad that Peter didn’t let his failures define him? Aren’t you glad that he repented, got up and got on with the task in hand? I am.
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