"Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he entered with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, but Peter stood outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the servant girl who kept watch at the door, and brought Peter in. The servant girl at the door said to Peter, “You also are not one of this man's disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.” Now the servants[a] and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself." (John 18:15-18 ESV)
The Bible doesn't cover up character flaws. Peter failed miserably, and it's all there in black and white for us to read about. Under intense pressure, he abandoned his master and friend in Jesus' darkest hour. Peter failed him in the garden even before the episode told above. Jesus had asked him to watch and pray but Peter fell asleep.
Now we see him deny even the fact that he knew the One he said he would follow to prison and even unto to death, not once, but on three different occasions on that unbelievable & unparalleled evening. And so he weeps bitterly, feeling the weight of his colossal failure. It literally breaks him.
Yet this is not a story about Peter. This is a story about Jesus, the One who knew it would happen all along- even before he spoke to Peter for the first time. He knew that Peter would be shaken and sifted by Satan until the most sinful inclinations of his heart surfaced and could be exploited. And Jesus knew that Peter would be made perfect through such suffering. This tragic event, this epic fail, would in the end, be used for God's glory and Peter's own good.
Something would be forged in the crucible of degradation that would not have emerged otherwise. God allows redeems those things that seem to be the enemy's crowning accomplishments, especially the basest of our failures. It is through these failures that pride and self-reliance lose their grip on our souls, and we are set free to run full tilt, refreshed by the Holy Spirit into the preferred future of blessing that our Heavenly Father has graciously prepared for us.
Come out tonight from under there cloud of guilt and shame. Refuse to listen to the whispering lies of the adversary who wants to undermine that which Jesus has secure for you beloved child of God.
You are loved and through your loving obedience to our Father decree, the world is being changed, one soul at a time.