Gone Fishing

Simon Peter said to them, "I'm going fishing." They told him, "We are also coming with you." They immediately went out and entered into the boat. That night, they caught nothing. But when day had already come, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples didn't know that it was Jesus. Jesus therefore said to them, "Children, have you anything to eat?" They answered him, "No." John 21:3-5 WEB.

The Apostle Peter had told Jesus, "If I must die with you, I will not deny You" (Mark 14:31). Then, later that night, Peter cursed, swore, and denied that he even knew Jesus three times (Mark 14:71). Peter had failed the Lord Jesus and done the exact opposite of what he had promised Him. So, after weeping, sulking, and waiting a while, Peter returned to his old way of life and what he did before he met Jesus: fishing. Peter thought that Jesus was done with him. That he had somehow wrecked God's plan for his life.

Peter's bluster was an example of typical human thinking. We make the Lord big promises and fail to keep them. Then we feel like a failure and that God is mad at us. We return to our old lifestyle like a washed pig to the mud. We begin to beat ourselves up and tell ourselves: "I can't do this. I am just no good at it. I gave it my best, and look at what that got me. I was better off before."

We return to our old life, our old ways, and soon settle into a rut. See, it's hard to get back up when you fail in a performance-based relationship. After you stumble and do some activity you think is sinful, you tend to hide from God as Adam did. It has been that way for thousands of years.

The enemy will climb on your back like you are a pony and ride you around, constantly reminding you: "God is mad at you! You are finished! He knows what you did! You better not go back to that church!" So we hide in shame alone. All of this is a trick of satan to keep you beaten down, weak, powerless, and defeated. To separate you from those who would help you.

Proverbs 24:16 says that the righteous get up, even if they fall seven times. So God isn't mad at you when you fall. Our relationship with Him isn't about our performance. It's about love. He is our Father. He loves us, and we should love Him. Of course, Jesus said, If you love Me, keep My commandments (John 14:15). Thankfully, we have forgiveness, for love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8).

While Peter was busy making promises, Jesus already knew that Peter would deny Him and said: "When you have turned again, strengthen your brothers" (Luke 22:32). The angel in the tomb told the women who came there: "Go tell His disciples'and Peter" (Mark 16:7). See, Peter was not to be left out because of his failures. Peter was always a part of the family.

It's okay to fail, fall, stumble, and return to your old ways, but don't stay there. Get back up. Jesus restored Peter and was never mad at him anyway. Jesus understood what Peter went through because He was one of us (Hebrews 4:15). Jesus understands; just don't give up trying. You will overcome if you don't give up. You are the only one that can stop you from fulfilling your destiny.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I thank You for being there for me. Please draw my heart to You, consume me, Lord, and fill me with Your presence. Lead me out of the darkness, and help me clearly see Your path for me. God have mercy on me, a sinner. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen!

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