There is Hope From The Road to Grace Devotional
… for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.”
Where has the lie of sexual sin taken you? Is your marriage teetering on the edge of a dangerous precipice? Maybe you’re in a legal predicament. One married attendee of our men’s group solicited an undercover cop posing as a prostitute, adding the prospect of jail time and a big fine to the consequences of his sin. Perhaps you’re suffering in isolation, struggling desperately to break free from a habit that has mercilessly ruled your life for years.
No matter what your situation, there is hope. God promises that He will never leave us; when the Creator of the Universe says “never,” we can bank on it.
Peter is my favorite disciple. His sin of denying Christ three times (the last instance, with cursing) has to one of the biggest and most wretched failures in history. After Jesus was killed, I can’t help wondering if Peter thought it was all over. He had vehemently denied the Son of God… and now Jesus was gone. Since Peter didn’t have a Bible that would tell him his sins were forgiven by the blood of the cross, where would hope come from?
Peter’s shame must have been great; the other disciples would have known of his failure, and word might have spread throughout the church. Would they judge him, as Job’s three friends did? Then there was the spiritual battle. The devil must have been pouring on the discouragement: “It’s over … you’ve gone too far… you’ll never be used by God again. How could God ever forgive you for what you’ve done? There’s no hope, so why not end your life now?” It wouldn’t be hard to imagine Peter fearing an eternal destiny in hell.
When all hope was lost, Jesus rose from the dead—and restored Peter. We don’t know the details of every conversation Jesus had with Peter after the resurrection, but it appears that all Peter had to do was be willing to humble himself and not give up on pursuing Jesus, regardless of his sin.
To Peter’s credit, he didn’t isolate himself from the church. When Mary announced to the disciples that Jesus was alive, Peter was there. When the disciples were fishing and Jesus called to them from the shore, Peter was there. Isolation would have been a deadly mistake; without the support and prayers of his friends, the despair, fear and shame might have overwhelmed Peter.
No matter where you are, there is hope. If Jesus restored a man for denying Him three times, he can restore you. No matter what happens, keep seeking God, stay out of isolation, and never, ever, give up. No matter what happens in the future, you have the same hope of abundant forgiveness and restoration that Peter did—along with God’s promise that He’ll never leave you.
Excerpt from The Road to Grace Devotional
©2012 by Mike Genung All Rights Reserved. This excerpt may be copied and forwarded only if this permission paragraph is retained intact and a link to this website is included.