Luke 22:32-34, “’But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith would 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 today.’”
Matthew 16:18, “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”
Philippians 3:13, “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold to it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead…”
Whenever you hear a rooster, do you think of Peter? On the night before Jesus went to the cross, He spoke to His friend, Peter. A few hours later, Peter rebuffed the idea that he knew Jesus. Peter went outside and sobbed. “He wept bitterly,” the Bible says. As he heard the rooster crow, you can imagine that he remembered Jesus’ words. He remembered his failure.
We all have been there. We all have failed. Even though you asked God for forgiveness, you still hear that rooster crow and remember failing all over again. You feel stuck on that wheel like the gerbil that cannot get off. It just feels hopeless, like you always make mistakes.
Paul, in Philippians, tells us how to get back up, take hold of what Jesus did on the cross and keep moving. Forget the past and move toward the future. As we find in the Book of Acts, God’s grace is greater than our past. God went on to use Peter to preach the gospel all around the world. He will use you.
Everyone deals with shame. Who is someone you can share God’s grace with by sharing your story of forgiveness and redemption?
God, thank You for paying for all of my sins – past, present, and future. Help me to realize I am no longer who I once was. Amen.