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Thursday, February 23, 2006


Those who have failed miserably are often the first to see God's formula for success. – Edwin Lutzer.

As we continue our series on ‘Coming Back From Failure’ from John 21:1-25, we studied in Part 3, how failure must be faced for forgiveness and restoration. Today we conclude with the understanding that...


One of the greatest truths that we can glean from Peter’s dilemma, is that failure is not necessarily fatal, or final. Peter, having faced up to his failure, was given the opportunity to put matters right with the Master, and now that this was accomplished, he was forgiven and restored back to his rightful position as a child of God, a disciple and an apostle; he had risen from the depths of his anguish and had come back from failure!

A few years ago, an angry man rushed through the Rijks Museum in Amsterdam until he reached Rembrandt's famous painting "Nightwatch." Then he took out a knife and slashed it repeatedly before he could be stopped. A short time later, a distraught, hostile man slipped into St. Peter's Cathedral in Rome with a hammer and began to smash Michelangelo's beautiful sculpture The Pieta.

Two cherished works of art were severely damaged. But what did officials do? Throw them out and forget about them? Absolutely not! Using the best experts, who worked with the utmost care and precision, they made every effort to restore the treasures.

By His sovereign grace, God can bring good out of our failures, and even out of our sins. J. Stuart Holden tells of an old Scottish mansion close to where he had his little summer home. The walls of one room were filled with sketches made by distinguished artists. The practice began after a pitcher of soda water was accidentally spilled on a freshly decorated wall and left an unsightly stain. At the time, a noted artist, Lord Landseer, was a guest in the house.

One day when the family went out to the moors, he stayed behind. With a few masterful strokes of a piece of charcoal, that ugly spot became the outline of a beautiful waterfall, bordered by trees and wildlife. He turned that disfigured wall into one of his most successful depictions of Highland life. – Charles Swindoll.

Now Peter was ready to face his future...

I tell you for certain that when you were a young man, you dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will hold out your hands. Then others will wrap your belt around you and lead you where you don't want to go." Jesus said this to tell how Peter would die and bring honor to God. Then he said to Peter, "Follow me!" - John 21:18-19.

What joy Peter must have felt when he heard those words… “Follow me!” Jesus informs Peter what lay ahead for him, previous to being called by the Lord, Peter was the master of his own destiny, but now he was to fulfill God’s plan for his future, he would be taken against his own will and executed, through this he would glorify God by his death.

Tradition records that Peter was crucified in Rome under Nero around 67/68 AD, and that by his own request was crucified upside down, because he considered himself unworthy to die in the same manner as his Lord.

People talk of the sacrifice I have made in spending so much of my life in Africa. Can that be called a sacrifice which is simply acknowledging a great debt we owe to our God, which we can never repay? Is that a sacrifice which brings its own reward in healthful activity, the consciousness of doing good, peace of mind, and a bright hope of a glorious destiny? It is emphatically no sacrifice. Rather it is a privilege.

Anxiety, sickness, suffering, danger, foregoing the common conveniences of this life--these may make us pause, and cause the spirit to waver, and the soul to sink; but let this only be for a moment. All these are nothing compared with the glory which shall later be revealed in and through us. I never made a sacrifice. Of this we ought not to talk, when we remember the great sacrifice which He made who left His Father's throne on high to give Himself for us. - David Livingstone.

Many of us would be so happy to fulfill God’s plans for our lives, after coming back from failure. It is so good to understand, that failure is never fatal or final, once forgiven and restored, our future in Him, will result in the glorifying of our Lord and Saviour.

The future is as bright as the promises of God. – William Carey.

There is a memorial in Israel of where Peter went fishing, but there is no monument to his failure! We can come back from our failure and have our future serving the Lord with wholeness!!!

Loving Father, Thank you for your word, and the revelation of knowing that coming back from my failure need not be fatal or final, but that you have everything under control. I thank you that you have my destiny in your hands. In the wonderful name Jesus I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged!

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