ODJ: out of the abyss
June 22, 2014
READ: Luke 22:31-34,54-61
But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers (v.32).
Why did I repeatedly deny I knew Him? How could I have betrayed His trust?
These and other questions probably filled Simon Peter’s troubled mind as he walked away from the courtyard in shame. He had just denied his Master and Lord three times.
At certain moments in our lives, we’ve all been able to relate to what Peter felt that day. We did something that we shouldn’t have done or said something we shouldn’t have said to people we love. We saw the pain in their eyes and we slinked away, thoroughly disappointed with ourselves. Beyond saying that we were sorry, we weren’t sure how to fix the harm we had done.
So how can we climb out of the abyss of self-disappointment and shame?
Firstly, we can thank God for what Jesus said to Peter in the upper room: “I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:32).
God isn’t surprised by our failure. In fact, He intercedes for us. He desires reconciliation and restoration. We don’t need to run away when we feel we’ve disappointed Him. Instead, we can admit our errors and turn back to Him. He waits for us with open arms! It is wonderful to be forgiven. And we can be forgiven because of what Jesus has done for us. He went to the cross and took our punishment.
With God’s forgiveness in view, don’t run away in shame from the person you’ve hurt. Admit your sin. Seek reconciliation.
Above all, remember: “The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning” (Lamentations 3:22-23). —Poh Fang Chia
365-day plan› John 4:43-54
Use Psalm 51 as a guide for repentance and for finding restoration with God.
How does Peter’s story encourage you to come clean before God? What happens to our shame when we truly repent of our sin and claim God’s forgiveness?