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. – Luke 22:32
I find this conversation between Peter and Jesus to be one of the most interesting and encouraging, because it is such a great example of divine love and grace. We see Jesus praying for Peter, asking that the disciple’s faith should not fail. Did Jesus suspect or know that His prayer would not be answered? The reason I raise this question is that immediately after they talk, we see Jesus obviously understanding that Peter would indeed fail (“… when you have turned back….”)!
Here is what I take away from this encounter.
First, Jesus intercedes for us. OK, no problem, the Bible expressly tells us that He does, but He also intercedes with a divine awareness of ALL our faults. Second, Jesus also knows that His followers WILL repent, because that is what His followers do … they turn from their sins back to Him, because they love Him. Finally, we see that when a follower of Christ turns from his sins (most often after a healthy dose of chastisement), Jesus expects that follower to use that experience to strengthen the rest of the faith “family.”
We fail, but our failures do not need to be for naught. May others learn and be strengthened by our imperfect, yet diligent (grace-kissed) walk with Christ.
Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be. – John Wooden
Dr. David Pope is President and Founder of POPE Initiatives, a non-profit organization committed to providing executive-level management and support services for major global mission efforts.
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