“Satan tried to snuff out Peter’s faith, but it was merely eclipsed for a moment. This can happen to any of us, and probably will. Peter fell in the dirt of doubt, but he rose again a few days later. . . . Perter felt disqualified because of his failure and went back to doing what he did before he knew Jesus. . . . However, Peter wasn’t disqualified at all. He just thought he was.”- Sharon Jaynes
“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”- Luke 22:31-32 (NIV)
In Chapter 10 (“Disqualified? Says Who?”) of When You Don’t Like Your Story, Sharon Jaynes asks what if your own actions leave you feeling disqualified and emotionally disabled? Certainly, God used weak men and women to change the world. Yet, that fails to excuse us from trying to strengthen our weakness. Even so, it’s impossible for our best efforts to come close to what the Holy Spirit can do through a willing vessel. No matter how cracked it is.
Hence, when Jesus told Peter to ‘strengthen your brothers.’ Sharon believes He was reminding Peter to tell his story. Because Peter’s failure didn’t disqualify him. Rather, it uniquely qualified him to encourage his fellow disciples when they fell. And, we also tend to write ourselves out of the story when we make a mess of our lives. But, God keeps writing our names back into the story. Your trials create a credibility you wouldn’t have without going through them.
In conclusion, Sharon exhorts:
“Don’t let the devil tell you that your past pain disqualifies you from your present calling. There’s nothing he would like more than for you to hold an audition in your head and stamp a big REJECT across your forehead. The audition is cancelled. You got the part.”
Today’s question: When has your faith merely eclipsed for a moment? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Monogramming the devil’s label?”