Not Just Permission, but the Privilege to Fail!

Grace For The Journey



I know, after reading the title of today’s blog, what you might be thinking:

Pastor Terry has lurched past the line of sanity

In linking the word “privilege” with “failure!”

Who in their right mind would consider it a privilege to fail at anything?!

I encourage you to read on.  I think you will find today’s blog a great comfort – regardless of whether you are experiencing victory or failure in your life.

There are countless places in Scripture where we can go to learn about this truth, but I have chosen the passage in the Bible where Jesus foretells Peter’s denial in Luke 22:31-34, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail.  And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.’  Peter said to him, ‘Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.’  Jesus said, ‘I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know Me.’”

In this passage we can clearly see that Peter was not only given the permission to fail, but it was a privilege to do so!  Now . . .

I am not suggesting that

We go out and do our best

To fail in living for

And serving our Lord.

What I am suggesting is that when we do fail Jesus, we see it as a privilege.  Why? Because of the One we are failing!  Jesus called Peter into service, knowing from all eternity that Peter would fail.  In the above passage we see both the permission and the privilege in our failure.

Permission means .. .

Jesus knows we are going to fall short of the mark at times . . . many times.

Privilege simply means . . .

 Jesus is the One we are serving, and we should always see it

As a privilege to serve Him, whether we are succeed or fail.

How often we are like Peter!  We resolve to win the day for Christ, no matter what hardship or opposition may come, but along the way we stumble or fall in hopeless defeat.  We set out to walk on water, but all too quickly we take our eyes off the Lord and quickly sink into defeat and despair.

Our failures do not catch Jesus by surprise.

He told Peter exactly what was going to happen before it happened.  He is telling us the same thing today.  There will be times when we fail.  Failure is a part of daily living for sinful, broken people living in a sinful, broken world.

But our failure is never final.

Satan asked for Peter but Jesus said no.  Final, complete failure is not an option for those who are in Christ.  And that is what makes it a privilege to risk for Jesus, regardless of the outcome.

The privilege to fail brings with it the grace of forgiveness and permission to try again, and again, and again.  We serve the God of second chances . . . and third chances . . . and so on.  The unconditional and eternal love of God removes any dread we might feel about a mistake or a failure . . . We have His eternal promise in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  Permission to fail is always accompanied with the promise of forgiveness.  This frees us to reach and risk – to advance the cause of Christ without constantly looking over our shoulder to see if God is coming after us for past errors.

Remember, after Peter’s abject failure – calling down curses on himself in an attempt to convince a servant girl that “I do not know the man” – Jesus restored him to fruitful service . . . but not perfect service!

The Bible relates the occasion when Paul rebuked Peter for refusing to eat with Gentile believers because of the disapproving scowls from certain Jews (Galatians 2:11-14)/ Jesus was not angry with Peter’s failure at that time either, and He did not send Peter away.  He urged him and encouraged him to continue to strengthen his brothers.  Jesus loved Peter and died for Peter’s sins – all of Peter’s sins, just as He loves you and me and died for all the sins you and I did, do, and will commit.

The Bible doesn’t explain why, when Jesus appeared to Peter after His resurrection, He asked Peter three times if he loved Him.  Many scholars believe it was because Peter had denied Jesus three times.  I think the main thing Jesus is doing is sending Peter a powerful message:

“Regardless of the number of times you fail Me,

I want you to remember that you are never disqualified

From serving Me and feeding My sheep.”

Now that is a comfort we need to be reminded of daily: we don’t only have permission, but the privilege to fail the One who has forgiven every failure.

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”


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