Luke 22.61 and 62 - The Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had told him, “Before a rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.
Forgiveness is a wonderful thing. It is a power of liberation that restores the whole being and heals it of the most terrible of cancers: guilt. How many poor human beings cry bitterly like Peter without finding the path of consolation because they have failed at some point in their lives. Accepting the unconditional forgiveness of God in Jesus Christ is hard enough, but forgiving oneself is a true miracle because it requires a powerful action of the Holy Spirit that will free us from our past, give us self-love and self-confidence. I love the Bible because those whose story is told were fallible, but they lived a brilliant restoration, showing that the love of God is so strong, so deep and so real that it erases any guilt, whatever fault ".
1 John 3.21 - Beloved, if our heart does not convict us, we have confidence before God;
Guilt is a destructive plague that reaches the whole of humanity, including believers. Guilt is directly related to our nature since Adam and Eve disobeyed the divine command not to eat "the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil". This knowledge opens our eyes to our state of perdition and guilt rushes into our conscience to distress and prevent us from being happy.
Everyone tries to defend himself as he can; some blame others, others stifle all feeling, others seek palliatives to breathe a little ... John tells us that if our heart is free of guilt, we can enter into a secure relationship with God. My friends, we do not have to wear guilt yet! All our condemnation was brought to the cross by Jesus Christ. If we stand there at his feet in confession, his forgiveness is constant whatever we have done or are still doing. The blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1.7). Let us not try to resist the attacks of the devil in wanting to justify ourselves, but announce firmly the work that Jesus did for us on the cross and declare with confidence that we are the friend of God, accepted by Him despite our imperfections. Yes we are not perfect and we will not be perfect on this earth, we are entitled to error and failure, the Father does not reject us because of this because through the sacrifice of Jesus, He we see holy, acceptable and perfect. Huddled in his arms of love, we will be safe and peaceful, do not let guilt revolt against Him because that is the goal of our enemy.
John 6:37 - All that My Father gives Me will come to Me; and the one who comes to Me I will most certainly not cast out.
Since I have met the Lord myself, I have always been convinced that God never rejects anyone. I like to say that He is the God of the second or even the tenth chance.Sometimes, because of our weaknesses, we believe that access to God is closed and He has abandoned us. Nothing is more false, and the devil is blithely using guilt to make us believe that "all is finished" and that the Lord has definitely removed us from his "Book". I do not know your situation or how you feel, but I want to reaffirm with this verse that Jesus will not put you out if you go to Him or return to Him. To tell the truth, He is only waiting for that! Of course He waits for your confession, not in a morbid remorse that provokes guilt, but in a sincere recognition of the acts or words that made you fall, with a full conviction that He has already done your fault. The punishment that our mistakes deserve has fallen on Him, God no longer needs to "punish" us for sin, it is already done.He is waiting for us with open arms, as for the prodigal son (Luke 15), to grant us his forgiveness and the benefits of his forgiveness, the peace and joy of the newfound communion. If this process of coming back to Him seems too difficult, call on a reliable friend and why not the one who gave you this book. Someone who can really listen to you and take the time to pray with you. This is also the Church! To know how to welcome the one who is weak and staggering, without judgment or criticism, but in a compassionate love for the suffering soul. The strength of evil is darkness. When sin is brought to light, it loses its force of oppression and bondage. A voice will whisper to you: Do not say that! Do not listen, the devil and the demons tremble in the light of God.
Matthew 10.33 - But the one who denies and rejects Me before men, that one I will also deny and reject before My Father who is in heaven.
Now back to what Peter lived. Peter was an entire man and probably the least hypocritical man of all those who surrounded Jesus. When he made "grand declarations", I am convinced that he was profoundly sincere. He had heard the words of Jesus about the consequences of denial. He had failed miserably and the devil had to pound his thoughts with something like this: Your Lord said, "I will affirm not to know you before my Father"!You better understand his torment! It meant: You're lost for eternity ... God will never want you anymore ... The devil may have even tried to push him to commit suicide as he did with Judas, the disciple who sold Jesus for thirty pieces of silver! It's as if I heard him whisper: Your life is worthless, so much to finish ... What people will think of you, the beautiful talker ... You have committed an unforgivable sin. .. You are only a coward, a liar, a rag ... How much the intercession of the Lord Jesus, so that his faith does not fail, had to weigh in the balance. You may live these terrible moments, this "death row" in your soul where all hope has disappeared. Even the Word of God comes to harass you!
This is not the voice of the Holy Spirit! Through the restoration of Peter, I would like so much that we see the heart of God for those who have fallen. Peter returned to his old life, that of a fish sinner. I suppose he survived more than he lived, death in his soul, completely disillusioned and deeply unhappy. It is there that the Lord Jesus will meet him and that he will devote a special time to him that you can read in John 21.15 to 19. Jesus will not reproach him. It will simply lead Peter to probe himself, to evaluate his love for Him, to push him to recognize that ultimately God knows all things, even our deepest motivations. I think of Job who, after the terrible ordeal he has experienced, will recognize the sovereignty of God. Forgiveness to myself begins when I look away from "who I am" to focus on "who is God." God is powerful enough to carry out his loving plans for your life.He is quite capable of making you capable, strong enough to overcome all your weaknesses. He loves you with an infinite love that goes beyond all human understanding, yes you!
The Lord Jesus will charge Peter with a new mission, it is as if He said: "You know Peter, we forget everything here ... I trust you!" Less than two months after failing miserably, Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, stood before a crowd to witness to Jesus, Son of God and Redeemer of the world. How will you be in two months my friend? May Almighty God raise you up, console you, justify you, and restore you to the glory of His name alone.
Now that we have spoken of God's forgiveness, we are going to address His promise of a new life.