Summary: Most of us are never taught a skill that we will certainly need - How to recover from failure.

Recovering from Failure (Lk. 22:28-34. 54-62)

Lk. 22: 28 You are those who have stood by me in my trials. 29 And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, 30 so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” 33 But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” 34 Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the cock crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”

54 ¶ Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance. 55 But when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them. 56 A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with him.” 57 But he denied it. “Woman, I don’t know him,” he said. 58 A little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” “Man, I am not!” Peter replied. 59 About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.” 60 Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the cock crowed. 61 The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the cock crows today, you will disown me three times.” 62 An he went outside and wept bitterly. (NIV)

*1 Jn 1:9

CONFESSION is different from admission! Beat the devil to God.

1. I have chosen to speak on a subject of FAILURE, I know a lot about - through experience.

2. Part of any training course to pilot an airplane includes “How to recover from a stall or spin.” (= crash)

3. Most people live w. a sense of failure, even the apparent successes. (Divorce, wayward child, job, ministry)

4. I have chosen the story of Peter because of the spiritual implications of his sin and his recovery.

5. God is a good God. If he was able to recover from his failure and if he could I can too. (Rom. 2:11)

Several lessons from Peter’s failure and recovery that I can apply in my own life.

1 - Recognize That God Was Not Taken by Surprise When I Failed.

1. Jesus predicted Peter’s moral lapse. (Lk. 22:31-32)

2. He also gave him a warning and direction.

3. You are loved on both sides of your experience. ( God’s love in unconditional!!! Jn. 3:16)

2 - Realize That I Am Not the Only One Who Has This Problem.

1. Peter did commit individual sin but not alone.

2. The other disciples were guilty too! (Story recorded for our benefit)

3. “Satan” was involved. (Lk. 22:31) -- [i.e. Job.]

4. He might shake us and sift us but he cannot remove us from the love of God. (Rom. 8:38-39)

5. Satan wants you to feel alone, but you are not!

1 Cor. 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. (NIV)

3 - Learn to Accept Personal Responsibility for “Real” Failure. (Lk. 22:61-62)

1. The real source of moral failure is SELF. (Lk. 22:33)

2. One way to avoid failure is to call it a mistake. – It usually is NOT = LIE!

3. We are big on rights and small on responsibilities!

4. Sin is not excusable or unavoidable. (PARADOX)

4 - Decide Whether Your Failure Is Going To Be Temporary or Final.

1. What did Jesus think the end result of Peter’s failure would be? (Lk. 22:32)

2. Did Jesus’ prayer fail? NO!!!!

3. Jesus and the Holy Spirit are interceding for ME too! (You)

Rom 8:26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.

Rom 8:34 Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died--more than that, who was raised to life--is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.

4. Failure is an event, never a person.

Notice the difference between what happens when a man says to himself, “I have failed three times,” and what happens when he says, “I am a failure.” - S. I. Hayakawa

5. That does not mean that there will not be consequences for my actions.

1 Cor. 3:15 If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.

“Sooner of later, we all sit at the banquet table of consequences”. RL Stevenson

5 - Believe That God Can Use My Lapse for Good. (Rom. 8:28)

You must have long-range goals to keep you from being frustrated by short-term failures. - Charles Noble

1. God is sovereign, and only God can do the work of God! (2 Cor. 12:9-10)

2. Peter’s lapse didn’t ultimately impair his ministry, it imparted and empowered it!!!

3. It is at the point of absolute failure, we quit trying to live the Christian life in the power of the flesh.

4. God doesn’t waste our pain. Consequences may be painful but they can also be profitable.

Ps 37:23 If the LORD delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm; 24 though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand. 25 I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. (NIV)

Ps 145:14 The LORD upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. (NIV)

Pr 24:15 Do not lie in wait like an outlaw against a righteous man’s house, do not raid his dwelling-place; 16 for though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again, but the wicked are brought down by calamity. (NIV)

Beautiful verses- 1 Cor. 15:3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. (NIV)

Not understanding God’s power to restore and use those who fail will result in “laps around Mt. Sinai”.

Learn to expect failure. “Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly until you learn to do it well”. Zig Ziglar

Did you hear about the guy who is both a taxidermist and a veterinarian? He has a sign on his door: “Either way, you get your dog back.” Beth L. Mack, Reader’s Digest, May 1996, p. 67.

Suggestions for dealing with failure:

Honestly face defeat.

Exploit the failure; don’t waste it. Learn all you can from it; every bitter experience can teach us something.

Never use failure as an excuse for not trying again.

Avoid Two Extremes:

1- Overwhelmed by a sense of quilt and failure that will cause you to give up.

2- Fatalism, can’t help it, there is no use in trying. = A casual acceptance and resignation.

You may not be able to reclaim the loss, undo the damage, or reverse the consequences, but you can make a new start—wiser, more sensitive, renewed by the Holy spirit, and more determined to do right.

Look into Jesus’ eyes and be convicted like Peter, then learn to put your trust in God not yourself.

Don’t live in the past! “…forgetting the past…I press on…” (Phil. 3:13-14)

These things only apply to believers!! Not in Christ you MUST be saved!!!! “You MUST be born-again”.

One ballplayer set the major league record for strikeouts with 1316. The same player set a record for five consecutive strikeouts in a World Series game. The holder of both records was the great slugger Babe Ruth