“Simon, stay on your toes. Satan has tried his best to separate all of you from me, like chaff from wheat. Simon, I’ve prayed for you in particular that you not give in or give out. When you have come through the time of testing, turn to your companions and give them a fresh start.” – Luke 22:31-32 MSG
Last Valentine’s day, our senior pastor, Ps Zhaleen Panlilio, shared a message entitled ‘Love At Its Best’. She talked about the story of Peter and how he learned about the greatest kind of love in the most painful way. If you haven’t heard it, I suggest that you stop reading this and click here to listen to the podcast.
Now that we’re on the same page, I believe we can all agree that Jesus loved Peter. But my mind was totally blown when I encountered the above passage earlier today. It was part of the Christ’s conversation with His disciple but it was mentioned before He predicted Simon’s betrayal. The Master knew that Peter’s love for Him would be tested. In fact, Jesus probably spent a lot of time interceding for his friend. Even with the knowledge of Peter disowning Him, the Lord still expected His brash and loud-mouthed disciple to continue in the ministry. However, we all know how things panned out.
Instead of preaching the Good News, the former fisherman went back to his old life. That’s why Jesus had to show up again before going back to heaven. What got me there is that God really wants us to fulfill our destiny. The Christ has risen and yet He still has time to encourage disciples who have strayed from their path. After being restored through their one-on-one talk, Peter went on to establish the church and the rest is history.
God never plans for us to fail. But even in failure, He has a plan on how we can get back on track. That’s how true He is to His word. What an awesome God we have!