That’s what my walk with Christ feels like. And unfortunately, I’ve had those moments it was:
One step forward. Two steps back.
I’m guessing you’ve also had those moments in your Christian walk.
A lot of things can set us back:
- Thinking and speaking from an attitude of self-centeredness
- Rebelling from what we know is right and doing what we want to do
- Seeing something we should do, but apathetically staying on the couch
- And then there’s just outright denial of Jesus
Wow. That last one is a big one. I’ve never outright denied Jesus—but then again, even a self-centered thought can be a denial of the One who lives in me and for whom I should be taking every thought captive (2 Cor. 10:5). When I focus on me and what I want, I deny the lordship of the One I claim to follow.
We can talk about our own experiences with “one-step-forward, two-steps-back,” but Peter still takes the prize for this one. Peter walked closely—closely!—with Jesus for three years, but in one night he denied every conversation with Jesus, every miracle he witnessed, and every encounter he had with Jesus’ divinity.
In the song This Is Now, Casting Crowns captured the thoughts that were surely going through Peter’s mind. Peter recounts the things he had seen, but he keeps returning to this chorus: That was then, this is now. It’s a sad commentary on how a lot of us feel when we fail the One we love.
But the story doesn’t end there. John 21 records a beautiful story of forgiveness and restoration. As the song This Is Now continues, it moves to the forgiveness and grace of Jesus. Jesus picks up the refrain: That was then, this is now.
Failure was then. Forgiveness is now.
God did great things through His servant Peter. And regardless of how you feel you’ve hurt or denied Him, He wants to forgive and use you too.
That was then. This is now.
This post supports the study “Redeemed From Devastating Failure” in Bible Studies for Life.