Monday, March 8, 2021
Imagine for a moment that you have just been told you will miserably fail at something you believed you were capable of doing. You even bragged to others about how you were confident in your ability. Plus, you told the one person you wanted to impress the most that He could count on you. But that person’s response to you predicted your failure to follow through on your promise.
The last thing we would want to hear at that moment is someone telling us to not worry or be troubled. Having just been told that we would fail, our emotions would be raw, and raw emotions generally need to be expressed rather than ignored or denied. Yet the person who predicted your failure now tells you to not let he pending failure bother you. I’m pretty sure we would not respond well.
This is exactly the scenario playing out in the Upper Room as Jesus spends His last night before His crucifixion with His disciples. Peter bragged about his ability to be strong and faithful. Jesus tells him that he not only won’t be faithful but will deny even knowing Him. Not just one denial, but three. Imagine Peter’s feelings. Imagine the personal conflict going on between his heart and his mind. He believes Jesus speaks truth. Peter also believes he spoke truth when he promised to be faithful. But the words of Jesus ring loudly in his ears and penetrate to the core of his heart. He is troubled when faced with the truth of his own inabilities.
Peter said to him, “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow till you have denied me three times. Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.” John 13:37-14:1
Where can we find comfort when faced with failure? How can we not be troubled when we realize that our commitments are often unfulfilled because of our inability to live up to our own expectations? Jesus gives us the answer to both questions – believe in God, and believe in Jesus. But that begs another question. What does belief in God and Jesus have to do with easing the feelings of discouragement and troubled hearts caused by our failures?
Here’s the answer. GRACE. When things don’t turn out the way we thought they should, there’s GRACE. When we mess up and things get all messed up, there’s GRACE. When we fall flat on our face, there’s GRACE. When our hearts are troubled, the answer is belief in God, and to believe that the grace of God is sufficient for our every need and is best realized when we are our weakest. (2 Corinthians 11:9) When things go wrong, belief in God means that we trust the grace of God to make all things right.
So no matter where you are, or what you’ve done, believe in God, and believe in Jesus. GRACE will abound and cover all sin.