Luke 22:31-34 (NIV) “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”
When we consider the disciple Peter was a man of great faith and bold action. But as readers of the New Testament know, his brash style sometimes led him to make humiliating mistakes. More than once, this disciple had to wear the label of “miserable failure” rather than that of “obedient servant.” (I know this in my own life)!
We can all relate when it comes to falling short of expectations in life. Obedience to God is a learning process, and failure is a part of our development as humble servants. When we yield to temptation or rebel against God’s authority, we realize that sin has few rewards, and even those are fleeting. How many of you can relate to this?
Failure can be an excellent learning tool, as Peter could certainly attest. Through trial and error, he discovered that humility is required of believers (John 13:5-14); that God’s ways are higher than the world’s ways (Mark 8:33); and that one should never take his eyes off Jesus (Matt. 14:30). He took each of those lessons to heart and thereby grew stronger in his faith. Today I believe God wants to inform you and to remind others of His desire for your life! God caused Peter’s failures to be put to good use as training material because the disciple was eager to mature and serve.
We would probably all prefer to grow in our faith without ever sinning before God’s eyes, but we cannot deny that missteps can be instructive. Failure teaches believers that it is much wiser and more profitable to be obedient to the Lord. That’s a lesson we all should take to heart this day. “The Lesson of Failure” enables us to serve and help others.