“Celebrate with praises the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has shown us his extravagant mercy. For his fountain of mercy has given us a new life—we are reborn to experience a living, energetic hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. We are reborn into a perfect inheritance that can never perish, never be defiled, and never diminish. It is promised and preserved forever in the heavenly realm for you!”1 Peter 1:3-4 TPT
Nearly 2,000 years ago, the resurrected Jesus sat on the shore of the Sea of Galilee preparing breakfast for his disciples. Peter, seeing Jesus, swam out to meet his dear friend and savior.
Prior to this time, Peter had experienced his greatest failure, that of denying Jesus Christ (Luke 22:54-62). I am sure Peter was still so very humiliated and broken over this tormenting moment in his life. Our sweet Jesus was not going to let Peter carry that burden any longer. With great love and gentleness, Jesus restored Peter on that day by helping him to reflect on the love that he had for him and also his love of ministering to others (John 21:15-21).
You have probably heard the story, and people often read this passage as a command or a task for Peter to do in order to show Jesus that he loved him, but it is deeper than that. Jesus, knowing Peter’s heart, and how much Peter loved him, wanted more for Peter; he wanted to put Peter back into the position of leadership that would heal him and fulfill his heart.
It is like a man in the position of husband and father, he loves his family with all his heart, it is his absolute favorite thing in life, but one day he falls into temptation and has an affair on his wife. This is his greatest failure in life. He is embarrassed, humiliated, and doesn’t feel he will ever have the ability to be the man he was called to be. Then one morning he meets with Jesus who loves him beyond life, and Jesus asks the man if he loves him. The man replies that yes, he loves Jesus, and Jesus tells him, “then love your wife;” a second question of love and then a reinstation to “love his son;” a third question of love and then reinstation to “love his daughter.” Through these questions and direction, Jesus is reinstating the man to his rightful position, the position that the man desires with all his heart.
In the same way, Jesus was giving Peter the opportunity to correct all three denials, all three failures and reinstate him to the position he longed for. Because of Peter’s failure, he understood on a deeper level what it means to follow Christ and how we as believers can resist temptation.
“So devote yourselves to lavishly supplementing your faith with goodness, and to goodness add understanding, and to understanding add the strength of self-control, and to self-control add patient endurance, and to patient endurance add godliness, and to godliness add mercy toward your brothers and sisters, and to mercy toward others add unending love. Since these virtues are already planted deep within, and you possess them in abundant supply, they will keep you from being inactive or fruitless in your pursuit of knowing Jesus Christ more intimately.”2 Peter 1:5-8 TPT
It is Peter’s hindsight that is giving him the perfect insight. Peter in essence is learning from his past and gaining great insight about his failures and who Jesus is to empower and restore not only himself, but others as well. Peter is further interpreting all that has been said to him by Jesus for his future. He is gaining foresight. He is being restored to his leadership position that he loved and gaining an even greater understanding of all that it would entail, even to the point of sacrificing his life for the purpose and calling of leading others to Christ.
When our Lord restores our lives, He restores our value, our purpose, and our eternity.
God has shown us his resurrection and given us the promise that we too will be resurrected (1 Peter 1:3-4).
This knowledge and understanding gives us the boldness we need to be like Peter and fulfill our purpose of helping others experience their restoration, to receive their value, purpose, and eternity with Jesus.
I am not sure where you may need restoration in your life, but I can give testimony of how like Peter, God restored my life!
I was a broken girl who didn’t feel loved. I came from a dysfunctional home, and in my vulnerable state I pursued love in all the wrong places. My life was filled with sin, heartbreak, and failure. But God restored me! He showed me what true love is. His life-giving Word began to penetrate my shattered and hardened heart. I began to FEEL His love and became empowered by it! It is his love that restored my life! Like the Shulamite woman in the Song of Songs, the lover of my soul restored my value, my purpose, and gave me eternal life with him!
“I am truly his rose, the very theme of his song. I’m overshadowed by his love, like a lily growing in the valley!”Song of Songs 2:1 TPT
When I think of Christmas, I think of restoration, how my Restorer was born on this day! The One who came to make everything right! The One who filled my life with Hope and godly vision for my future! I boldly live for him now knowing that he continues to restore me, to unveil what is within me and has been there all along!
As believers we have seen and can bear witness that Jesus keeps his promises, that he truly does restore. It is often in our hindsight that we see his hand in our lives giving us greater insight into his restoration. Like Peter, we can then have better foresight of the things to come and the promises that will be fulfilled by our Restorer.
When Jesus told his disciples that he would destroy the temple and rebuild it, they didn’t quite understand what he meant, but their hindsight gave them a greater understanding as they were able to see Jesus fulfill his Word.
“Christ suffered and died for sins once and for all–the innocent for the guilty–to bring you near to God by his body being put to death and by being raised to life by the Spirit.”1 Peter 3:18 TPT
Since we have the promise of a restored life, we can surrender our lives and live out our great purpose knowing that Jesus will continue to make all things new!
It is in the abundant hope of the grace filled gospel of restoration that one can overcome this world and all its trials. In Christ you are a restored, victorious overcomer! It is his grace that empowers you to live with passion for him, giving great purpose and meaning to your life!
“You love him passionately although you have not seen him, but through believing in him you are saturated with an ecstatic joy, indescribably sublime and immersed in glory. For you are reaping the harvest of your faith–the full salvation promised you–your souls’ victory!”1 Peter 1:8-9 TPT
Behold, our Restorer Has Come!