We have such good intentions of staying on the straight and narrow path with our Lord. Peter did: "Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death." Poor Peter not only failed that great proclamation but he actually disowned his best Friend. Then "he went outside and wept bitterly" (Luke 22:62).
We want to follow Jesus and His principles and practices, but it is too easy to forget our priorities. There are so many distractions and demands today. If we do not do God's work that He has planned for us, then our other work becomes difficult, uncertain, and mediocre, a poor gift to One who wants us to do our best. What we look back on are our failures; what we can look forward to is God's forgiveness of those failures. Even spiritual persons can waste much time and emotional energy on feeling that they have committed the unpardonable sin when, in effect, they have been human.
We know that Peter denied his Lord but we have overlooked what Jesus did for Peter: "The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter" (Luke 22:61). What a look of love! It was then that Peter remembered Jesus telling him that he would betray Him. At the same time that He warned Peter of his impending betrayal He also told him: "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail" (Luke 22:31,32). Was it our Lord's prayer for Peter that finally saved him? "And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers" (v.32).
The Lord looks upon us with tenderness. He understands our weaknesses for "He remembers that we are dust" (Psalm 103:14). And to think that He prays for us! We can go on with our work for Him and not look back at yesterday's or last year's or a lifetime's sins or mistakes. All we need do is continue to look upon Jesus as He looks upon us.