Just posted an article entitled 'And Peter'. Copied and pasted it here for the forum. Seen below. It looks at our reactions when we miss the mark. Many would not recover if they had committed the tragic denial fault of Peter. Read through and find more of this below.
We will have to face the challenge of handling our errors and mistakes at that point in life when they occur. Some have fallen and remain where they have fallen. Others have fallen and just cannot get over the thoughts of the mistake of the past haunting them. For some, life has never been the same again since that tragic error as it has infiltrated their self-image, blunted their personality, filled their hearts with shame and forcefully pressed their heads below. Whether we are willing to accept it or not, as long as we tread this present earth, some word or action of ours will find itself where it ought not to.
Unfortunately, I have seen believers and even from my own experiences, how 'an over-zealousness' for perfection and only that can make a believer fail to recover after a fault. Some get overwhelmed with shame as though God is having His hands on His head as He watches them. From this very start, saying that getting God's view of ourselves will save us tons of pain and grief especially in moments when we feel so worthless from failing to live worthy of calling.
A word of caution. In no way is this providing comfort in sinfulness as some even report that the scriptures say a righteous man will fall 7 times and still arise.
I want to use this well-known scriptural example to illustrate this fact. Do you remember Peter and Jesus? In deep distress and time of agony, Jesus was foretelling His suffering and death to His closest men who could offer support if any was ever needed. Peter affirmed His loyalty to Jesus so sternly and said
…Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended. Mt 26:33*
Upon hearing this, Jesus immediately drew Peter's attention to the truth behind this vain boasting that could seem to give Jesus some moral support.
Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples. Mt 26:34-35
I like this about our Lord. He knew His people and never never put His trust in man. The Bible notes in Jn 2:25 that He 'needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.' Jesus knew the basis upon which Peter made that statement. It was an empty affirmation based on human strength that will, as both scriptures and our experiences teach us, fail when the moment arrives. Can you imagine how many times we have had our hearts crippled because we put our trust on the words of a man?
As the story unfolded, Jesus was arrested and taken to the High Priest's residence. Peter followed behind. The arm of flesh could still move him towards something. His human might could prove his loyalty as far as supporting him to follow the crowd to the judgement aread. When it gets to its limit, it fails. That is just the flesh, human strength.
And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and were set down together, Peter sat down among them.
But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and earnestly looked upon him, and said, This man was also with him.
And he denied him, saying, Woman, I know him not.
And after a little while another saw him, and said, Thou art also of them. And Peter said, Man, I am not.
And about the space of one hour after another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow also was with him: for he is a Galilaean.
And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew.
And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.
And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.Lk 22:55-62
Can you imagine the embarrassment and arrow piercing Peter's heart when the Lord turned and looked at him as he just denied him the third time? Peter's denial of Jesus in no wise makes him lower in loving the Master than any of us. The Lord used Him to demonstrates that ' it is not by might, nor by power but by My Spirit.' (Zech 4:6) The things of the lord are not by the power of the flesh.
That was Peter running away from the High Priest's yard with a grief in his heart sufficient to tarnish his reputation amongst the disciples, wreck his self-image, incapacitate every potential in him or even make him take the Judas-way i.e. suicide. This was Peter's error and tragic mistake. He is no more. We are now on the scene. You may not have denied Jesus but have just done some act or say a word that made you feel as worthless as salt that has lost its taste or light as a thin film of air or even as deformed as the earth in Gen 1:2.
There is a way out for us as believers. An unbeliever does not have the same hope. The way out is not to try to 'fix it' yourself. Facing our errors in whatever proportion they came is an important element of our Christian walk from the newly born to the mature in the faith.
The beauty of our hope in situations like this is in the mercy and immutability of God.
For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Mal 3:6
What was God's response to Peter's error? When Jesus resurrected, an angel came to announce the good news to the women who went to the empty tomb that Sunday
But go your way, tell his disciples AND Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.Mk 16:7
The angel uses the words 'AND Peter' when he talked about those that are considered his disciples to be told. The word 'AND' is not there merely to list Peter as one of the disciples. In any case, he was one. The word 'and' there connotes more than just numbering as a part of the team. It connotes acceptance in the context of the betrayal that just occurred three days ago. The Lord says 'include Peter in it.' What went through Peter’s mind when the women came and met the disciples together and said they met an angel and he told them these words? Have you ever done so great mistake that when you heard a prophecy or someone say he has a word from God for you, you thought God will probably start by mentioning the foolishness you just committed? Did Peter ever narrate to the other disciples that he fulfilled Jesus prophecy of denying him three times? Whether he did or not, when the women announced the news, Peter was not mentioned as he probably expected. In fact even when Jesus spent days with them after the resurrection, He never mentioned it to Peter. These are the arms ready to receive our crumbling hearts before they break into pieces when we find ourselves in errors and faults.
Maybe someone needs these words to echo in their hearts also in the situation they find themselves. The Lord says '... and you.' when He talks about His precious people, He still adds 'and you Robinson, Elisabeth, Clement' ...... and you can put your name there if required at this moment in time. This loving, merciful arms make our fate after a fatal fault different from the world around us.
If the mistake puts you like the empty, shapeless earth of Gen1:2, remember that He is Creator God. As He framed the world into shape with His Word, so your life will be refashioned. The truth is after a tragic fault, the future for those in Christ does not depend on how bad the bad thing they did was. It depends on how much they can believe and trust in God and rely upon Him.
Our pride is our downfall. We could be so full of ourselves that after an error, we had better die than live to live with it that we could fail that much. A heart that can see itself only in Christ will rapidly recover because He will go across the barrier of the flesh. It takes humility of heart to know that our true identity is what He has made us and not what we try to show Him, such that we can still look on this true identity and stick to it when the winds we never wished for blow upon us.
The Lord has stretched out His arms of acceptance to some who are too ashamed to get over their self-rejection and receive His acceptance. This attitude will only carry us down the slope of frustration. When we reject His acceptance because of the seriousness of our fault, we are in no way holier. We only do any such thing out of our inner pride and to our hurt.
Our God is a God of recovery and restoration. The kingdom is for children! The simpler we are, the better our walk with Him. No matter what has happened, if He has added that '... and you', take the childlike faith and receive it and keep far from you the complicated adult thought processes.
*All scripture references from the King James Version.