DVDoubt and RestorationJohn 21:15-19And the Lord said, "Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren." —Luke 22:31-2
Have you ever felt spiritually "invincible"? How soon were you put to the test? What did you learn from the experience?
Are you watchful when you are feeling strong and bold? How can you keep your faith steady and sure at all times?
There are things that happen to us in this life that cause us to falter in our faith towards God. And there are times when we feel that God is so far away that our prayers seem to go nowhere. Sometimes we falter and stumble so badly that it is easy to believe that the Lord could never use us or trust us again. When doubt settles in, it can tear at our soul like a raging bear.
Peter boasted more than once that he would rather die with Jesus than deny his Lord. Even when Jesus warned Peter that he would betray Him, Peter stood and affirmed his promise. But when it came down to it, Peter could not stand the pressure and denied Jesus three times. When Jesus looked at Peter, his heart was crushed and he went out and wept bitterly. He had just failed his Master in the very thing he had proudly boasted he would never do. He was alone, and inconsolable.
After Jesus appeared to Mary and the women, He appeared to Peter alone. Why would Jesus make a special appearance for Peter? John 21 records a scene where Jesus restored Peter’s faith. Peter was in great need of restoration. He was so convinced that Jesus would never use him again that he had decided to go back to his fishing business.
Jesus knows our weaknesses. He knows how frail and weak we really are. The mighty apostle Peter was no different than we are now. Jesus knew Peter would fail miserably that night and He had warned Peter. But, just like us, Peter thought he knew better. His confidence in his own strength was his downfall. Yet Jesus did not rebuke him for his weakness. He came with love and encouragement to the broken-hearted disciple. We all will doubt from time to time, to varying degrees and about different things, regarding our faith. It is part of the growing process. In the end, when we have turned again to Jesus, our faith will be made stronger.