The end of another year provides an opportunity for us to look back over our past year and take account of the journey we have traveled this year. Reflection on our life and experiences is a vital part of improving our future direction and purpose in life.
At that moment the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Suddenly, the Lord’s words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.”Luke 22:61 NLT
It is likely that Luke 22:61 may not be the first text that comes to mind when we think of a motivational reference for looking back on our lives. We often prefer to focus on the positive areas of our lives and with good reason; they are the best opportunity for us to feel successful and develop a plan to build on them.
While that is for sure an important part of our purpose, God often prepares us for our greatest purpose from our failures. To look at a year and leave out our shortcomings would be to ignore the larger picture of God’s spirit moving in our lives. It is in our difficult valleys that God prepares us with a larger lesson so that we can help others in a way we may have not even dreamed of in the past.
I have to wonder how often Peter reflected on this failure in his life. How did it weigh on him that he got not one but three warnings that his heart was not committed to what he professed and that no matter how he looked at it he had failed Jesus. He could always look back on his Good Confession that Jesus was “ The Christ, the Son of the living God” or walking on water but this failure could never change.
If failure were the only perspective for Peter then he would not get the complete message God had for Him in the events of the night before Jesus died on the cross. We too often get so bogged on the failure that we don’t look at it in the reflection of God’s perspective and His purpose in our lives.
Peter’s denial wasn’t a surprise to Jesus only to Peter. Jesus saw it because he used the opportunity to show Peter that there were no limits to His love and ultimately His forgiveness. Just a short time later Peter would use the strength and wisdom of this time in his life to share this Love and Forgiveness with others on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit that Jesus promised came to Peter and all of His believers in this life.
We would do well to reflect over the past year and prepare from where God has allowed us to be, whether in success or failure, for the future and purpose he has placed inside each of our hearts.
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