“Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord!’ As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, ‘It is the Lord,’ he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water.” John 21:7
“I am the subject of depression so fearful that I hope none of you ever get to such extremes of wretchedness as I go to. But I always get back again by this—I know that I trust Christ. I have no reliance but in him, and if he falls, I shall fall with him. But if he does not, I shall not. Because he lives, I shall live also, and I spring to my legs again and fight with my depressions of spirit and get the victory through it. And so may you do, and so you must, for there is no other way of escaping from it.” Charles H. Spurgeon
- It’s time to meet with your Jesus! He is the One who loves you and has great things in store for your life.
- Read John 21:1-25. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal unresolved failure or emotional pain. Imagine yourself like Peter, running to Jesus even though he had failed.
To Whom Shall We Go?
Do you ever feel like you have made so many mistakes in your life that your situation is hopeless, and even too far gone for God? Perhaps you have given up because there’s no way it’s ever going to get better.
I know how you feel, dear one, and I have felt the feelings of despair at two in the morning. I have heard the whispers of the evil enemy of our souls in the middle of the night telling me to take my own life, saying there is no use to keep going because my situation is truly hopeless.
After coming through the valley of despair, I can honestly tell you that I am so glad that I didn’t listen to the accuser and give in to the dark thoughts. By the grace of God, I am here to tell you that all you have to do is hold onto Christ for dear life, trusting Him to carry you through the difficult season. Just like the pilgrims who passed through the valley of Baca and changed it into springs, so must you (Psalm 84:6).
We are not the only ones who may feel like we have made a mess out of our lives. All we have to do is look at the disciple Peter.
Peter knew what it was like to fail miserably. He had known Jesus intimately for three years as a member of His inner circle. Peter vowed his faithful, undying love to Jesus, and seemed destined for greatness. He had faith to move mountains. Jesus even called him “the rock” on whose faith He would build His church. In spite of his passion, Peter still turned away from Jesus, denying Him during the hour of His greatest need. Yes, Peter failed miserably.
As we read the story in Luke 22:54-62, we witness the heartbreaking account of Peter denying Jesus three times. After he had sinned, “he went out and wept bitterly.”
This is the moment I can relate to the most: Peter crying bitter tears as he abandoned his Lord. I am sure he felt he was too far gone for God, without hope. After all of those laudatory words spoken over him by Jesus about being the foundation of His church, he was sure he missed his chance; it was all over. But as we turn a few pages to John 20, we see that Peter never lost his hope. He knew to whom he should go.
He knew to go to Jesus, his friend, and so must you.
When you look at your life, all in shambles and shame, you must set your heart and mind on Christ Jesus—not on sin, mistakes, doubt, depression, anger, bitterness, or unforgiveness. You must run to Jesus just as Peter did.
In John 20:4-6, Peter and John ran to the empty tomb to find Jesus. Even though John, “the disciple whom Jesus loved”, got there first, it was Peter who went right in. He wanted to find Jesus.
In our reading today in John 21, we see Peter’s reaction when he realizes that it is Jesus on the beach. The moment after John said, “It is the Lord,” he wasted no time jumping into the water to get back to his Lord. He knew who would heal him of his guilt and shame.
Peter knew the loving and forgiving heart of Jesus who was already cooking breakfast for him and his friends on the beach. He knew that the same God providing for his physical hunger would also give him the forgiveness, love, and acceptance his heart so desperately needed.
We behold the scene in John 21:15-19 as Jesus reinstates Peter back into his calling and His love. He ends the discourse with the powerful admonishment, “Follow me!”
Dear sister, if you feel you have made a hot mess out of your life, don’t pull away from Jesus. Follow Him! Instead of listening to the voice of the accuser telling you there is no hope for you, run, run, run to Jesus! Tell Him you are sorry and surrender your life and your circumstances to Him. Trust that He is with you, will never leave you, and has good things in store for your life. There is always hope with Jesus. Watch Him take the broken fragments of your life and make them into something beautiful. It’s what He does best!
Jesus came to save us and bring healing to the broken places of our lives. Because He lives, we too may have life, and have life abundantly, even on this earth. He is risen!
“ The devil, darkness, and death may swagger and boast, the pangs of life will sting for a while longer, but don’t worry; the forces of evil are breathing their last. Not to worry…He’s risen!” – Charles R. Swindoll
Blessings and Love,
Questions to Ponder
- What is Jesus speaking to you today?
- Is there any area of your life where you feel as if you have failed?
- Open your hands as a sign of surrender and pray; ask Jesus to take your failures and your shame. Seek forgiveness where appropriate. Imagine Jesus taking your sins and regrets, throwing them as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). Then, imagine Him holding you and telling you that He loves you, is with you, and has great plans for your life. Ask Him to help you to visualize Him turning your ashes into a crown of beauty (Isaiah 61:3).
Read John 21 to your kids from a children’s version of the Bible, or one that’s easy to read such as the New International Reader’s Version (NIRV). Talk to your children about the importance of running to Jesus when they make mistakes; He will always help them and has great plans for their lives. Children need the hope that Jesus brings more than we could ever know, especially your children who carry shame for getting into trouble frequently. Remind these precious ones that Jesus loves them and that you love them, no matter what! Teach them from a young age to trust in Jesus and His great love for them; He will help them to do what is right.
I remember going into my daughter's room night after night and kneeling beside her bed and crying my heart out to God because I didn’t know how to be a Christian mom; I felt like I had no idea what I was doing. You know what? God is so faithful! He answered me and simply said, “Spend time with me, Deb.” And so I did. I began arising 15-30 minutes earlier each day so I could read my Bible and pray, and plan out my day with my family.
If there was one thing I would love to share with you is that God is personal and loves you as you are. You don’t have to be perfect to be loved by our amazing God! Come as you are! His loving presence can be practically known and experienced. He is not a God who is far away, He is near and easily found. He longs for you to come to Him!
Randy and I have been married for 28 years and we have two grown children, Christie, and Jack, and one answer to prayer son-in-law named Alex. And now I get to be a Gigi to my sweet little grandbaby, Aspen! Yay!