All of us make tracks through the valley of failure. Then the key question is, What we will do next? Sadly, many believers who stumble give up a vibrant kingdom-serving life for a defeated existence. But failure can also be a chance for a new beginning of living in Christ's strength.
In pride, Peter thought his faith was the strongest of all the disciples' and swore that even if the others left Jesus, he never would (Mark 14:29). Yet when the time of testing came, he denied even knowing Christ--and did so three times (Matt. 26:69-75). Satan hoped the disciple would be so wounded by his own disloyalty that his faith would be undermined by shame, condemnation, and despair.
Likewise, when the Enemy sifts believers today, his goal is for us to become shelved and ineffective for God's kingdom. That's why he goes after our strengths, especially the areas in which we proudly consider ourselves invincible. But if we're willing, the Lord can use our failures to do spiritual housecleaning, as He did in Peter's life. After the resurrection, Jesus met with the disciple personally and restored him, preparing him to become a great leader in the early church. He made it clear that Peter's potential to serve was defined, not by failure, but by his unwavering love for Christ.
Peter laid down his pride, received the healing Jesus offered, and put on courage with the Holy Spirit's help. He then risked his life fearlessly to further the gospel, and many came to Christ through his example. Failure was the catalyst that grew in him a stronger, more authentic faith.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.