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Faith and Failure

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:31-32

These words of Jesus underscore the entire drama of Peter’s bravery at following Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, his angry tri-fold denial, his bitter weeping in the black of the night.

What impresses me is that Jesus did not pray that Peter’s courage wouldn’t fail. He didn’t pray that Peter wouldn’t deny him. He didn’t pray for Peter’s will. And he didn’t, because he knew that Peter would sin. Knew it ahead of time; knew it was inevitable that the rock would shatter.

What Jesus prayed – knowing these things – was that Peter’s faith would not fail. Why this focus on faith? Because as long as you have faith, you have everything:

  • By faith, you know you can be forgiven for every sin, no matter how terrible.

  • By faith, you know that failure isn’t the end, but is a place to grow in wisdom, character, and humility.

  • By faith, you know that you can be strong again, and that you can strengthen others.

Too often, we look at sin and failure as the end of the road. We fail – and we stop dead in our tracks. We sin – so we assume we can never accomplish anything good ever again. We betray the Lord – and we believe that we will never be worthy to speak his name again. But in his words, Jesus declared that sin isn’t the final answer – faith is.

  • Have you allowed sin to stop you in your tracks? Have you listened to the voice of Satan whispering that you are a failure, so you should give up completely?

  • If you have not confessed your sin, do so after reading I John 1:9.

  • Once you have confessed your sin, pray that the Lord would help you to put it behind you and to move forward with confidence.

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