There are moments in life that are monumental in our walk with Jesus. We make a decree to follow Him, pledge to give up everything and follow Him on a life-path of glorious adventure. If you were like me, I was full-on for this incredible journey. I didn’t want to miss out on a single event God planned for my life. The undeniable problem I faced, life got really hard. The journey was filled with perilous dangers, and shattering events that stopped me dead in my tracks. This life-walk with Jesus wasn’t turning out exactly how I had pictured in my mind. I was disappointed with the pain, hurt, and un-met expectations.
If you ask me, living full-on for Jesus wasn’t what it was cracked up to be.
I was broken.
I was resentful.
I was struggling.
15 years ago, I forgot why I said yes to God and follow Him with all my heart. I still loved Him, but I wanted to quit the journey and fall back into something more safe. Safe is easy. Safe is calming. Safe is uneventful. God didn’t fail me, I failed me.
However, the more I resisted, the more miserable I felt. I was becoming fearful of the very things I had been so full-on passionate when I committed my life to follow Jesus. How did I find myself off this life-path I had started?
Have you ever felt broken and unable to pick up the pieces to fix your mess?
I was a broken down wife and mother, yet He found me right where I was. Jesus never gave up on me. I had failed Him miserably, but He reached out to me in a daring rescue and saved me … again.
I can only imagine what Peter must have been feeling in John 21 after spending three years with Jesus and now found himself heartbroken, resentful, struggling, and feeling all alone. Everything changed. Nothing was the same. Peter had failed and denied Jesus three times and now suffered with grief and shame and guilt.
It was a lot easier for him to quit the calling to be a fisherman of men, and go back to fishing for fish in the Sea of Galilee in the boat. But, God in His gentleness, made a charcoal fire and cooked some bread and fish to help revive Peter’s memories of his first encounter with Jesus with a fishy miracle.
Let’s be honest, I think we have all experienced times we feel defeated, unfulfilled, frustrated, and not where we think God wants us to be. We don’t see the results or the fruit we think we should be getting for our efforts. Read a time here I felt defeated in my life.
When we have an intimate encounter with Jesus (like Peter) and He sees us through our tears and fears. He goes straight to the heart of the matter. Jesus asked, “Do you love me? Feed my lambs. Do you love me? Tend my sheep. Do you love me? Feed my sheep. He wants us to follow him, He wants us to love big and serve big and remember why we made the decision to leave everything and follow him.
5 reasons to remember why you said yes to God:
1. Remember gratefulness. Sometimes when we find ourselves in a funk, if we can take the time to remember past memories of what God’s done for u,s it helps refocus our thoughts back on Him. It’s a precious thing to honor Him by yearning for future blessings. The best is yet to come. Make a list of all the times God has delivered you.
2. Remember forgiveness. We all have times when we allow negative actions, thoughts or feelings to enter into our lives. Were human, but what we choose to do with our failures or resentment can be the difference to living in freedom or bondage. I think C.S. Lewis captures the importance of forgiveness perfectly:
This is hard. It is perhaps not so hard to forgive a single great injury. But to forgive the incessant provocations of daily life—to keep on forgiving the bossy mother-in-law, the bullying husband, the nagging wife, the selfish daughter, the deceitful son—how can we do it? Only, I think, by remembering where we stand, by meaning our words when we say in our prayers each night ‘forgive our trespasses as we forgive those that trespass against us.’ We are offered forgiveness on no other terms. To refuse it is to refuse God’s mercy for ourselves. There is no hint of exceptions and God means what He says.
3. Remember grace. There’s nothing we can do to earn His love. There’s nothing we can do to earn His appreciation, mercy, kindness, or patience. Here’s the thing, we will always fail. We are sinful by nature and will constantly, consistently, and miserably fail. Grace is the gift of favor and love from Jesus because we don’t deserve it. We don’t deserve His love. We don’t deserve His undeserving redemption. This is when I yell at the top of my lungs, “GRACE, GRACE!” I don’t know about you, but that takes the pressure off all our big fat failures.
4. Remember His sovereignty. God doesn’t’ really need us, yet He allows us to be a part of His bigger plan in this world. I know sometimes we operate as if the world really needs us to rescue, redeem, and resolve all its problems. Reality … God’s in control and He knows the outcome. Thank God, He is God! For me, it’s just another reminder that God is more interested in my dependence on Him then His dependence on me.
5. Remember the battle. Satan wants to discourage us, make us feel like failures. He kills our dreams, steals our ambitions, and destroys our spirits. It’s not God that’s not putting us back in the game, it’s us allowing satan to keep us out of the game through what he does in our hearts. Filling our thoughts with despair, guilt, shame, loneliness, failure.
When we do it afraid and say yes in my mess, God will take us right where we are. He will pick us up even in our deepest fears and do something miraculous. He made us a promise, and God doesn’t stop working in us despite our failures. His promises are true and holy.
What is something you do to remember why you said yes to God?
Here is the online sermon of Jesus and Peter, A Personal Encounter With Jesus, that greatly impacted my heart. I know you will love it to!