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Failing Forward

Luke 22:54-62


Faith Healer: on platform at coliseum/said, I have faith that 2 people will be healed/where are you?/man ran down/named Harry [w/ lisp]/can’t talk white [right!]/go behind curtain/another man hobbled down on crutches/named Frank/haven’t walked in 20 years w/out crutches/go behind curtain w/ Harry…/Healer said Frank, you’ve been healed, slide crutches out under curtain one at a time/place came unglued/held up and broke crutches/all cheered!…/declared Harry to be healed: “the next sentence you speak will be the first you’ve ever said normally…usher, take him a mic/alright, what would you like to say?/Harry said, “Fwank fell down!”

Ever fallen down spiritually while running this race/been tripped up by the devil?

You’re not a failure because you fall…only if you don’t get back up/get up once more than you fall and you’re a success!

Pr 24:16 -

For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.

What would you think of a preacher who would curse and swear in front of one of the teenagers?

Peter did just that…and denied the Lord, but in spite of it all, God gave Him a new start and Peter learned to fail forward! [read text]

1. Failure doesn’t have to be a hitching post; it can be a guide post.

We can learn from failures and sins! God has a way of bringing good out of bad!

Some have low self esteem and think God sees them as a composite of all their failures…

My dad doesn’t introduce me as Jerry, my son who drained the transmission fluid and filled up the oil…though I did!

Jerry, my son who…stole truck and went to Iowa [at 14!]

…rode motorcycle w/ no shirt and hit bumblebee at 50 mph!

My earthly father has no need for such memories…and my heavenly father has no need for such either!

When God forgives, He forgets [east from west!]

Not to say there’s no consequences, but from a judgmental perspective...God doesn’t hold them against us!

2. If we fail God, it will probably be at a point of our greatest strength.

Peter’s greatest strength was his courage!

We criticize Peter for taking his eyes off the Lord on the sea of Galilee and beginning to sink…but at least he got out of the boat!

When they came to arrest Jesus, Peter pulled out his sword to defend him/tried to take off one of their heads!

This big, burly fisherman, however, cowered down before a teenage girl…in the area of his greatest strength!

Other examples: Moses

Bible says he was the meekest among men [meek: strength under control] But what did he do? He lost control of his emotions and killed an Egyptian/later smote rock twice!


He is called the father of faith…but he left Canaan and went into Egypt, and lied about Sarah his wife, because he didn’t have enough faith that God would protect him…he failed in his area of strength!


A picture of purity/apple of God’s eye/man after God’s own heart…but he committed adultery/failed in his area of strength!

None of these failed in their weakness, but in their strength…because we all have a tendency to leave our strengths unguarded!

An unguarded strength is a double weakness!

Paul said (II Cor. 12:10), when I am weak, them am I strong! [for then I’m depending on the Lord, and not myself!]

[pride goes before destruction/let him that thinks he stands take heed…]

v. 33 we can admire Peter’s statement at first glance, but there’s a difference between saying I can do all things thru Christ, or just I can do all things!

*The boastful man is tempting the devil to tempt him.

3. Before we sin, the devil is a tempter; after we sin, the devil is an accuser.

Before we sin, he says, go ahead, no one will know, you can get away w/ it…

…afterward he says, you’ll never get away w/ it/you’ve blown it…you might as well not even try to serve God!

Satan’s goal is not only for you to fall, but for you to stay down…so let’s learn how to fail forward!

3 Wonderful Truths

I. Even when we fail, God is still sovereign.

Sovereign means “in control”.

(Luke 22:60)The rooster crowing is a testimony that God was still in control/the Lord shut the beaks of hundreds of roosters until the precise moment of the 3rd denial!

v. 61 right now Peter is at his worst/lowest/failing/falling/out of control, but he’s got a message from the Lord, “I’m still in control!”

II Timothy 2:13 “If we believe not yet he abideth faithful…”

We often fail God, but He never fails us/often I’m not faithful to Him, but Great is His Faithfulness!/I’m not so great…but “How Great Thou Art!”

To learn to fail forward, we must remember that even when we despair and feel out of control, God is still in control…He’s still sovereign!

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