Have you ever felt taken out by a person or a circumstance and felt like all hope was lost? Maybe that’s where you’re at today? This reminds me of a man in the Bible named Peter. Peter was the kind of guy who went all out for Jesus. He left his family and fishing career and was the guy who walked on water for at least a minute. Peter was rewarded by seeing miracles, being one of the 12 disciples and even an intimate part of Jesus’ most trusted inner circle of three. They ate together, traveled and ministered together and talked about issues like who would be the greatest. Peter’s dream of restoring Israel back to her former glory was happening and he was at the center of it all. He even told Jesus that even if everyone else deserted Him, he would not. For Peter, life was great.
And then Judas betrays Jesus and the life that he knows is jeopardized. But Peter is fierce and doesn’t go down without a fight. He brandishes his sword and defends his Jesus and the dream life he has been living. What happens next was the beginning of the end for Peter and the life he knew. Jesus tells Peter to put the sword away then heals the man Peter wounded. Soon after, the son of God who cast out demons and raised the dead was taken prisoner.
This was too much for Peter and he fled. He fled because everything he thought to be true had just been wrecked. Peter lingered at a distance and denied knowing Jesus three times as Jesus was being judged. He had lost his identity because his identity was in the dream of who he wanted Jesus to be and not who Jesus really was. And then Jesus was crucified and the finality of his loss was made certain. This was Peter’s darkest hour.
But then the resurrection and hope was restored! Jesus met up with Peter as the risen King. He then asked Peter 3 times “Do you love me?” The conversation reached the point where Peter was really hurt and said “You know I love you.” Jesus had to acknowledge the depth of shame and pain Peter felt in his failure and lost identity to prepare Peter to receive a new one. This would be Peter’s come back. Then Jesus said “go and feed my sheep”. This is the equivalent of Jesus saying your shame and failures do not disqualify you from your calling. I am validating you as a loved child of God who is qualified by what I have done. The focus has now shifted from Peter’s identity being in his beliefs and abilities to Jesus and who He says Peter is.
How have you experienced a set back or felt like a failure?
Pray and ask God to show you how he wants to take you from Set Back to Come Back?
Shawn Maguire is a Licensed Professional Counselor who has served marriages, families and individuals for almost 25 years. He is the owner of New Vision Counseling, a place where therapists integrate their faith with cutting edge counseling techniques to offer hope and healing in any circumstance of life. You can find out more about Shawn and his team at NewVisionCounseling.org or follow him on facebook and Instagram