Jesus said, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat.” – Luke 22:31
Jesus was talking to Simon Peter, yes that Peter. The Peter that Christ specifically told He would build His church on (Matthew 16:13-19). God told a man how great His plan was for him. Peter was prolific in his work for Jesus as he was the founder and first Patriarch (Bishop) of the church in Antioch, visited the divided church in Corinth (1 Cor 1:12) , founded the Roman church and is credited with two epistles of the Bible. Even with all of that Peter took a hard road to get there. He denied he knew Jesus three times even though Jesus had foretold this and Peter vehemently denied it, it happened. When Jesus rose from the grave Peter had to confirm he loved the Lord three times before Christ would reinstate him. Peter had made mistakes before but he denied Jesus in his darkest hour. God’s plan for Peter came from his mistakes and gave Peter strength. Peter learned from his mistakes and it lit a fire in him for God that never became quenched.
We all do it. We make mistakes. I make them daily in some way or another. Maybe it is in thought or act or lack of desire to work. It can be literally anything. Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Wise words from a man who was excellent at making mistakes but his words have wisdom in them. Too often, I get caught up in the trappings of my mistakes and I’m sure men like me do. Anyone does because we hate the idea of failure or mistakes. God is not like that because once we atone He considers it water under the bridge. We constantly guilt ourselves over things way past their expiry date. If we have a true change of heart (Proverbs 28:13) then there is no reason to continually punish ourselves. God doesn’t. We should find ways to resolve it in our minds otherwise we are doing a disservice to His grace.
By Faith, Not Works
This can be a bit of a wild card for someone because the thought is, “Well I can do whatever I want because God is going to forgive me anyway.” or as it is popularly put, “we are saved by faith and not works.” While that is an excellent get out of jail free card for some I think that for me it is a reminder that the grace we are giving should be life changing. If your heart is moved to God then your spirit will be on fire to obey Him. Not out of being commanded or out of fear. Devotion to God is truthful, helpful, inspiring, necessary and kind. Look at what learning from mistakes did for Paul, who was Saul. God removed his stony heart (Ezekiel 36:26) and gave him the heart of a man who would eventually be the largest author of biblical material and be known as the Apostle of the Gentiles. Faith can carry you through anything because it is a gift that God allows us. Once you place your faith in Him a change happens and old ways die away and new ways fill you. This is why we should revel in His grace but not use it for misbehavior. Real faith sparks real change.
Our mistakes are part of us but they should never define us. God’s plan may have some terrible mistakes that we must go through to get to where we need to be. The changes that happen through the mistakes are the results of God’s chipping away at the marble to reveal the beautiful spirit he has designed. Each mistake is a lesson on who we are. It doesn’t matter if you were an adulterer or a thief. If you love God he will work for your good. Jonah ran from God but God used him to save Nineveh. Saul persecuted Christians and God used him to reach many of the Gentiles. These men eventually understood that while God allowed them to make mistakes it was because it allowed them to grow. Father’s can only tell their children so many times not to do something before letting them so that a lesson is learned. Our Father in Heaven allows us to make mistakes so that we become stronger in Him. I don’t want to spend my days feeling sorry for the mistakes I’ve made, I want to give God the glory of my service to others and beg for his amnesty when I do make those mistakes so that I can learn to be a better provider, comforter and friend to all of thwe people I reach.