Philippians 1:6, “He who began a good work in you, will complete it until the until the Day of Christ Jesus.”
I love this verse in the bible because I find so much encouragement in it. We tend to stumble and bumble along at times in this life trying to serve Jesus. The church is a family filled with imperfect people who can and will makes mistakes and misstep. We are full of human failings. However, God is faithful and He does not give up on us. He stays with us to help us grow and improve in our lives and walks with Him. Peter is an excellent example of how God does not give up on us even when we fail.
Peter denied knowing Jesus three times the night Jesus was arrested before the rooster crowed at sunrise just as Jesus had told Peter it would happen. All of the other disciples knew about Peter’s failure. It was perhaps the most humiliating time of Peter’s life. He had gone from the pinnacle of being one of the 3 closest to Jesus and favored to be part of the inner 3 to losing face in front of the others due to denying Jesus. How could Peter hope to regain his dignity and standing with the other disciples after denying Jesus?
One day after the resurrection of Jesus, Jesus waited for the disciples on the shore. Jesus had breakfast with them. It was right after breakfast that Jesus asked Peter the same question three times. He asked Peter- “Do you love me?” and each time Peter answered yes. By asking Peter the same question three times, Peter was restored in the eyes of the others. Jesus did not give up on Peter. He continued His work in the heart of Peter and restored Peter. Each of the three times Jesus asked Peter the question, “Do you love me?”, Jesus then gave Peter the instructions, “Then feed my sheep.” Peter’s role of disciple/apostle was restored in front of the others.
When we mess up, God is always there, ready to help us start over again. We trust in the truth of Proverbs 24:16 that a righteous person falls seven times and gets back up. We can rest assured that even when we mess up, even with our worst mistakes, that God will help us get back up, dust ourselves off and start all over again. We can find comfort and encouragement from the example of Peter’s failure and fresh start.