Peter, the Restored
Winston Churchhill is quoted, “Success is measured by your ability to maintain enthusiasm between failures.” That describes a man like Peter; he understood the value of failure. We are human and we make mistakes: in our marriages, with our kids, on the job, and even in ministry. Those mistakes are vital because they open the door for restoration from God. No one knew that better than Peter. After his three-fold denial, when Jesus needed him the most, Peter caved. He was filled with grief, remorse, and guilt yet Jesus didn’t let him stay there. He experienced restoration and became the first leader of the Church; now that brings hope to all of us.
Why do you suppose God let Peter go through so much sorrow? Could it be that the new believers may have similar experiences? Could it also be that believers of today experience grief, remorse, and guilt? We wish we hadn’t reacted the way we did, we’re sorry we said it that way and sure would like to do it over again. The good news is that we don’t have to do it over again. As Peter’s failures show us that there is restoration with God.
When you restore something, you bring it back to the original condition. An old car or an old piece of furniture; you rejuvenate it. God has His ways of renewing us also. He takes our anguish and pain and brings us back to Himself through repentance. He takes us from being ‘wounded warriors’ to being ‘victorious overcomers’. The key is repentance.
Repentance opens up a way back to God after we’ve fallen, however, it takes honesty: telling ourselves the truth. We were wrong. We missed the mark. We’re sorry. Repentance is good for the soul, therefore, we should be transparent with God and admit your mistakes. He’ll take it from there.
God can use those wounding experiences to purify us and begin the healing process but be aware; healing is gradual; it takes time. During the time of restoration He’ll give you glimpses of hope, slivers of light to keep you going. He’ll have the right people, at the right time, give you a word of encouragement as a reminder of His faithfulness. God won’t leave you alone to walk through the trial; He’s right there walking alongside you.
The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.
Isaiah 58:11 NLT
The restoration in Peter’s life is an example for you. God has no partiality, no favorites, and He is unchangeable. So whether in your marriage, with your kids, at work, or at church, God is in the business of reestablishing lives. Don’t leave a bad situation the way it is, pretending it’s not there, begin the restoration process at the foot of the cross and walk back with God at your side.