Victory comes in rising after a fall

Published 3:58 pm Saturday, March 25, 2017

By Larry Stover
Stover lives in Valley Grande and is pastor at Praise Park Ministries Church of the Nazarene.

The Bible records many failures because it records life as it happens.  God’s Word is all about real people who go through the good times and tough times.

One such saga is the story of Simon Peter who denied that he knew Jesus.  You may remember the story about the Disciples being so adamant about standing with Jesus and even being willing to die with Him.  Peter led the charge.  Jesus made it clear to him that he would deny that he even knew him.

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After Judas betrayed Jesus leading up to His arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, we saw Simon Peter in action.  He cut off the ear of the servant of the high priest after drawing a sword to begin a skirmish that never materialized.

I really believe that at that moment Peter was willing to die defending Jesus Christ.

When nearly everyone else had fled the scene, Peter followed these arresting soldiers to the home of the high priest.  While standing around a fire, He denies on three separate occasion that he even knows Jesus.

When the rooster crowed, Peter realized that the words of the Master were true. He was broken and devastated.  Simon had failed.

But, failure does not have to be fatal. What can we learn from this story regarding one of the great disciples and leaders of the early church?

First of all remember that “nobody is perfect and everyone fails now and then.”  So, honestly face defeat and realize that just because you fail at one thing does not make you a complete failure.  Peter was so sure of his strength and determination. Like Simon, at that moment when we least imagine it, we fail and come up short of God’s expectations

Secondly, failure does not have to be fatal if we remember that “God’s love and forgiveness are not dependent on success.” The good news is that, no matter how you have failed; no matter what sin you might have committed, the Savior who died for you still loves you immensely.

The story of Christianity is the story of men and women who have fallen short of God’s expectations in their lives but have found a new beginning and a new future through forgiveness, restoration and a dynamic daily relationship with Jesus Christ.

When Peter denied the Lord that third time, a simple look from the savior brought a flood of failure to the heart and soul of the fisherman.  The Bible tells us that Peter broke down and wept bitterly.

The good news is that this was not the end of his life, rather, it was the turning point that changed him forever.

A third thing we learn from this saga is that failure does not have to be fatal if we “learn and grow from our failures.” Peter was full of remorse but that pain and sorrow were later turned to joy when Jesus reached out to him and restored him spiritually and as a friend.

Lastly, failure does not have to be fatal if we “put our failures behind us.” When we fail, especially spiritually speaking, Satan will continually tell us that we are finished with no hope to be forgiven or restored in our relationship with Jesus Christ.  He will tell you that your future is destroyed.

That is not God’s message to us. Proverbs 24:16 reminds us, “For though a righteous man may fall seven times, he rises again.”

The key here is to realize that victory comes in rising up after a fall. You may not be able to undo the damage or reverse the consequences but you can make a fresh start, renewed by the Holy Spirit and determined to do what is right.

Peters love for Jesus kept him focused, even when he failed.  When we keep our eyes on Jesus, “the author and finisher of our faith,” we can overcome any failure and know that with Jesus Christ, everything will be “Simply Beautiful.”