“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
There are many people who turn away from God after failing. They feel too ashamed, christianity feels too hard for them or they fear they won’t be able to keep up with it. They might not know a reason to return or they don’t know how to get back on track.
Some, in the other hand, prefer to hide away their sin while ignoring the voice of the spirit and they manage to convince themselves that they are fine—sadly, the spirit walks miles and miles away from their pretense.
We can be so afraid to confess our sins and our failures. Do we really think that being Christian exempts us from failing? Or, that in order to be useful to God, we must be this strong perfect person. Well, God wants us to be, but he knows that sometimes we won’t — and he’s okay with that— he just needs our hearts to be available for the works that take place in his grace. The question is: Can we be okay with that?
I always remember the story of Elijah in 1 Kings 19. He defeated Baal’s prophets but was emotionally hoarded by Jezebel’s threat. Right after receiving tremendous victory from God, he goes on to hide in a cave, fearful and depressed. The same man was portrayed in contrasted images of strength and weakness, faith and doubt. God went right after him with encouragement and continued to assure him he wasn’t finished with him.
I also think about what would’ve happened if Peter would’ve turned away after his denial. The Lord could find another person for the mission, but Peter would’ve missed out the opportunity of being one of the pioneers in founding the Church of Christ.
You see, the Lord could see pass Peter’s offense. He could see there was a broken and humbled heart that grieved the offense—the perfect scenario for God’s work to be completed in us. So, the Lord didn’t wanted to disregard Peter because he had failed but rather he wanted to make that broken heart a recipient of his grace.
Good thing Peter didn’t walk away, but after seeing the Lord resurrected, he threw himself into the water from the boat he was in so that he could meet the Lord at shore. The sea in between Peter and Jesus was not an impediment for Peter to get closer to Him. The one who had failed demonstrated an urge to reconnect with Jesus.
God’s word is filled with encouragement and promises for believers when they have failed. A merciful, righteous, graceful and faithful God is revealed in them.
If you have turned away because of your failures or your sins, let me tell you, christianity is not about you, its about Christ—so its time to go back to the cross. Like Peter, God will ask you “Do you love me?” as many times as you have denied him. His waiting for you to make amends by redeclaring your love for him.
This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. Hebrews 4:15