GOD’S MERCY & MY FAILURES
Miracle of Mercy Series
Because we are imperfect people and we live in an imperfect world, we all experience failures in life.
Let’s look at the life of Peter and see what we can learn from his experience.
WHAT CAUSES PERSONAL FAILURE IN OUR LIFE?
a)We overestimate our strength.
When we think that we’re stronger than we really are.
Matthew 26:31-35: Jesus said. “This very night, before the rooster crows up the dawn, you will deny me three times.” Peter protested, “Even if I had to die with you, I would never deny you.”
Peter overestimated his strength.
1 Corinthians 10:12: “If you think, ‘I am strong! I can handle this. I’d never fall for that temptation,’ then be careful! For you could easily fall too!”
Let us not be naïve. None of us are exempt.
b)We fear the disapproval of others.
‘Every time you make a decision based on what other people will think, you are sowing the seeds for failure in your life.’ R. Warren
When we fear disapproval, we go with the flow even when we know it’s the wrong thing to do!
We see Peter fear the disapproval of people: Matthew 26:58, 69-70
He’s more worried about what other people think than he is about identifying with Christ.
When we let anybody else be more important than God in our life, they become our god.
A hidden wound is always behind the fear of disapproval of other people.
- A rejection of the past
- An unmet need you had growing up
- A trauma that happened in your life
If you don’t know who you are, you will be manipulated by the disapproval of other people the rest of your life.
Proverb 29:25: “It is a dangerous trap to be concerned with what others think of you, but if you trust the Lord, you’ll be safe.”
c) We speak without thinking.
We put our mouth in motion before we put our mind in gear.
We see Peter speak without thinking: Matthew 26:71-74
James 3:5-6: “The tongue is a small thing, but what enormous damage it can do… That part of your body is full of wickedness and can poison everything else in your life…”
2. HOW DO WE RECOVER FROM FAILURES?
Matthew 26:75: “When Peter heard the rooster crow, he remembered that Jesus had said… Then Peter went outside and wept bitterly.”
a) We need to grieve
Don’t pretend it didn’t happen.
To get past it you’ve got to go through it.
Someone said: ‘When you swallow your emotions, your stomach keeps score.’
If we don’t go through the grief, we don’t learn what God wants us to learn from that failure!
Psalm 51:17: “The sacrifice God wants is a broken and contrite spirit, God will not reject a humble and repentant heart.”
b) Let other believers support us
When you go through a major failure in your life you must resist the urge to isolate yourself. You don’t need to tell everybody, but you do need to tell a few people who love you, who are going to pray for you and who will support you. You were never meant to go through life on your own.
Matthew 18:20: “Where two or three are gathered in my name I will be there in the midst of them.”
c) Cast myself on God’s mercy
We know that Peter did this because he wrote…
1 Peter 1:3: ‘Because of his great mercy God has given us a new life by raising Jesus Christ from death. This fills us with a living hope…”
1 Peter 5:7: “Cast all your anxiety on him [God] because he cares for you.”
What does it mean to cast yourself on the mercy of God?
It means to pray something like this. ‘God there is no way I deserve your grace, your mercy, your kindness, your love. But I come to you in the name of Jesus, and because of what He has done for me on the cross, I receive all you have for me!’
3. WHAT DOES JESUS DO WITH OUR FAILURES?
Luke 22:31-32: “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you like wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned back to me again, strengthen and build up your brothers.”
In this verse we learn five things that Jesus does with our failures.
a) Jesus is not shocked!
He predicted Peter’s temptations long before it happened.
God is not ever surprised or caught off guard by anything we do.
Psalm 103:14: “God certainly knows what we are made of. He bears in mind that we are dust.”
God knows we’re not perfect. We’re human.
b) He prays for us!
Jesus told Peter before he had even failed: Peter, this is going to happen, but I’ve already prayed for you that your faith will not fail. And Jesus’ prayers are answered.
The Bible says,
Hebrews 7:25: “Jesus is able to save us completely because he lives to intercede on our behalf. He is always talking to the Father, asking him to help us.”
c) He believes in us!
That’s why he told Peter, even before Peter’s big failure…
Luke 22:32:“When you have repented and turned back to me again…” ‘when’ not ‘if’
d) He shows us mercy when we are down.
Jesus shows how much He loves them even after their betrayal and denial. That’s mercy.
God’s mercy toward us is not dependent on our performance.
The Bible says it like this,
Lamentations 3:22-23: ‘The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.’
2 Timothy 2:13
God cannot deny himself. God cannot be unfaithful. Even when you’re unfaithful, He will be faithful.
You may give up on God but he’s never going to give up on you.
e) He uses our failures to build His Church
Luke 22:32: ‘Peter when you have turned back to me, strengthen and build up your brothers.’
He’s talking about the brothers and sisters in Christ. The family of God. The church.
The way you show your love for God is by helping other people in the family of God.
This sermon was preached by Pastor Elio Marrocco on April 22, 2018 at New Life Christian Church