The Patience of God
"I tell you Peter, before the rooster crows today,
you will deny three times that you know me."
Do you ever wonder if God's patience will run out? Do you think you have blown it one too many times for God to forgive you? The truth is that we all mess up. Let's look today at the way Jesus relates to his friend Peter right before Jesus is arrested.
When we read about Peter in this part of the Bible, we find out that Peter tells Jesus he is ready to go with Him to prison and to death. But Peter's courage fails and he denies Jesus right before Jesus is mocked, beaten and taken to the cross. Jesus knows that Peter's faith will fail and he tells Peter that He has prayed for him, that his faith would not fail.
We all so long to do great things for God. We all want to be courageous and strong. All the dreams that you have in your heart about greatness come from God, but everyone struggles and has failures along the way. God knows that we will fail, fall down and not hit the mark. The thing that He really wants us to know in our hearts is that He still loves us and is for us even when we mess up. Faith is trusting in His goodness to us when we feel like the things we've done should make Him not want to be around us.
Peter had to choose believe that Jesus still loved him after his failure to stand with Jesus. Peter wept bitterly after denying Him. Do you think that Peter wondered if Jesus could forgive Him for denying Him? Do you think it was hard for Peter to forgive himself?
When you mess up is it hard to forgive yourself? There is a beautiful verse in the Bible which says: "...the kindness of God leads you to repentance..." (Romans 2:4). Once we experience the kindness and goodness of God - His amazing patience with us and ability to instruct us and help us grow - we feel genuine remorse over what we've done and fall straight back into His arms. It's all about love. He loves to love us!