Have you ever heard people talk about how God has a purpose for your life, but deep inside you’ve thought you must be disqualified? I know I have. Especially when I struggle with the same issue over and over, or when I do something that I thought I’d never do. Even though we all make mistakes, sometimes I can feel like I’m an irredeemable mess. I mean, making a mistake is one thing, but there are times that my failures feel bigger than that. When I find myself wondering if God can really still use me, it helps me to consider an example God gave us in the Bible.
Peter was one of Jesus’ closest followers, and he just knew he would never let Jesus down. But not long before Jesus was arrested, He told Peter something he thought could never happen..
Peter declared, "Even if everyone else deserts you, I will never desert you." Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, Peter--this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me." "No!" Peter insisted. "Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!" And all the other disciples vowed the same. (Matthew 26:33-35 NLT)
As you may already know, Peter did deny knowing Jesus…three times, and he was devastated when he heard that rooster crow and recognized how he’d failed. But later, after Jesus rose from the dead, instead of dismissing Peter from his post as one of the disciples, He affirmed Peter’s calling to lead His people! When my failures feel like proof that I’m not fit for whatever God had planned for my life, it is such a great relief to see from Peter’s example that Jesus doesn’t disqualify us from our calling, even when we blow it big time. In fact, He's the one who allows us to repent and receive His forgiveness, grace, and strength to fulfill HIS purpose for our lives.
No matter how weak you’ve been, no matter how messed up you’ve been, no matter how many times you’ve stumbled, you are equipped to do whatever God calls you to. (excerpt from Learning to Love in the Hard Places, by Dr. Chester C. Pipkin Jr.)