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You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. —John 6:69
Prime Minister Winston Churchill knew how to bolster the spirits of the British people during World War II. On June 18, 1940, he told a frightened populace, “Hitler knows that he will have to break us . . . or lose the war. . . . Let us therefore brace . . . and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire [lasts] for a thousand years, men will still say, ‘This was their finest hour!’ ”
We would all like to be remembered for our “finest hour.” Perhaps the apostle Peter’s finest hour was when he proclaimed, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (John 6:69). Sometimes, however, we let our failures define us. After Peter repeatedly denied that he knew Jesus, he went out and wept bitterly (Matt. 26:75; John 18).
Like Peter, we all fall short—in our relationships, in our struggle with sin, in our faithfulness to God. But “failure is not fatal,” as Churchill also said. Thankfully, this is true in our spiritual life. Jesus forgave the repentant Peter for his failure (John 21) and used him to preach and lead many to the Savior.
Failure is not fatal. God lovingly restores those who turn back to Him. Dear Father, thank You for Your forgiveness. Thank You that Your mercy and grace are given freely through the shed blood of Your Son, Jesus. When God forgives, He removes the sin and restores the soul
The story of Peter’s denial of Christ is found in each of the four gospel records (Matt. 26; Mark 14; Luke 22; John 18). Of these records, Mark’s account bears particular interest since scholars believe it is the record of Peter’s memories of his time with Jesus. If so, then in Mark’s gospel Peter recounts the story of his denials as a personal testimony of his failure.