Monday, April 18, 2011

Do Not Fear Failure

When Judas and the soldiers came for Jesus in the garden, Peter was a warrior. He swung his sword slicing off an ear. Within minutes, though, he was following Jesus from a distance. Within hours, he denied he even knew him. Before the rooster crowed, he was a cursing coward. Just fifty-two days later, on the day of Pentecost, he boldly stood before the crowd that had crucified His Lord, the Lord He had denied so vigorously, and preached Christ. For Judas, there was no such restoration, no redemption. Within hours of Judas' betrayal, he was dead by his own hand.

Why is failure fatal for some and a turning point for others? The answer does not lie in personal strength. Men and women who have accomplished incredible feats in life have ended life in the gutter. Peter was not a better man than Judas. He proved that on the night of Jesus' arrest. The only difference is Jesus. Peter belonged to Jesus. Judas did not.

Jesus knew Peter would fail, and since Peter belonged to Him, He said, "Simon, Simon, look out! Satan has asked to sift you like wheat. but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And you, when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers." (Luke 22:31-32)  Jesus never prayed for Judas like this, because He had always known that Judas heart never belonged to him.

The fear of failure leads us to deny Christ. Our denial may not be as spectacular as Peter's, but we do it. We do it every time we are silent about our faith. We do it every time we agree with a worldly joke or comment. We do it with our lives when we live hypocritically like the world during the week.

Child Of God, Do Not Fear Failure. You cannot make yourself stand. It has never been about your ability to endure criticism, to live righteously, to say the right thing. You are not the one who will make you stand, for only "The Lord is able to make you stand." (Romans 14:4)

Do Not Deny Him Today. He will make you stand.