Have you ever made a promise to God? Have you ever been so much in love with Him that you just knew you would always be right in the center of His will?
Or let’s dial it back a notch or fifty. Have you ever made a promise to your spouse, your significant other, or even just a friend? And have you ever failed to deliver on that promise? When you break a promise made to a human being, that’s one thing. Ideally you apologize, they forgive you, and you move forward.
But when you make a promise to God, that’s BIG, right?
In verse 23, Peter says to Jesus, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.”
Peter was one who often spoke from his heart. I think he really believed what he said, because emotionally, at that moment he could not imagine forsaking Jesus. But guess what. Emotions ebb and flow. And when we speak or make commitments based on emotions, we are going to be making promises we cannot keep, which is what Peter did here.
So let’s get back to you and me now. I know I’ve made promises that over time I ended up breaking. Promises to people, and promises to God. How about you? Sometimes the broken promises to people create broken relationships.
What about broken promises to God? What happened when Peter broke his promise to never fall away? First, when he realized what he had done, it broke his heart. And later, as we shall see in subsequent chapters, Jesus forgave Peter and Peter went on to become one of the early church’s leaders, as Jesus said he would.
So when I break a promise to God, as soon as I realize it, I’m on my knees confessing and asking forgiveness. And just as He saw Peter’s remorse and then forgave him, God sees my broken heart and forgives me.
Listen. God is not surprised by our failures. Do you believe that Jesus was surprised by Peter’s failure? Of course not. As a matter of fact, as soon as Peter made his promise, Jesus said, “Yeah. No. Peter, you not only are going to fall away, but you will deny me three times tonight!”
So if Jesus knew that Peter was going to fail then, do you think He knew that Peter was going to break that promise a few nights before when He said that Peter was blessed because God had revealed to him that Jesus was the Son of the Living God? Of course Jesus knew.
So, if you are busy beating yourself up because you have failed, stop it. God can still use you. You didn’t throw a monkey wrench in God’s plans. He will forgive you if you ask Him, and He will accomplish His plan in your life. I promise. But more that that, He promises. And He never breaks a promise.