“…it is by your own faith that you stand firm.” 2 Cor. 1:24 NLT
“But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen you brothers.” – Luke 22:32
First, the faith we have is ours. It is something we are responsible for. We are to take care of it, do what it takes for its roots to grow deeper, for it to become more founded on Scriptures, on Jesus, for it to stand the test of adversity and what-you-haves.
It is something that anchors us to Jesus (if you remain in me, I will remain in you…) and leads us to the truth, enabling us to move on and make the right choices even when suddenly there’s turmoil in our minds and hearts…
But I am comforted to also realize that falling short in holiness or falling short in boldness, that failure to stand up for Jesus does not mean FAILURE OF OUR FAITH. Jesus said, “when you have repented and turn to me again,” this is what you do next. Jesus, because he has prayed that Peter’s faith should not fail, has received by faith the answer to his prayer (the answer being, that Peter’s faith would not fail). Thus, he ASSUMED that Peter will repent after Peter has sinned. And in repenting, Peter will PROVE that his faith overcame – overcame what? he just failed to stand up for Jesus – well he overcame condemnation because he chose to go back.
Thank you God that even when we have fallen, our FAITH can take us back to you, to your loving forgiveness and LOVE that has no prerequisites.