But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren (Luke 22:32, KJV)
Just before Peter would deny Jesus, arguably the most traumatic event of Peter’s life, Jesus prayed that Peter’s faith would not fail. What does “that thy faith fail not” mean? Does faith ever fail?
Almost every one of us reading this devotional is familiar with the medical concept of heart failure. We can extend the idea of a failing heart to that of faith failure. In essence, something fails—whether spiritual or natural— when it cannot carry out its expected function. Just as the heart is unable to pump blood when it fails, our faith fails when it is unable to do what it is expected to do.
Please note that Jesus did not pray that faith will not fail but that Peter’s faith will not fail. He prayed “that thy faith fail not.” Faith in itself, if genuine and pure, will always produce the expected results. It will never fail in this regard. However, when our faith becomes weakened or polluted in some way that it functions abnormally, it will fail to produce any desired outcomes. In fact, Jesus had seen Peter’s faith fail before.
In Matthew 14:30, Peter, whose faith had made him walk on water, began sinking and almost drowned to death in Jesus’ presence because his faith became weakened by fear and doubt. Yes, Peter had a history of faith failure; and I am almost sure you also have many personal stories of prior faith failures just as I do!
Our faith fails when situations or circumstances weaken our hearts to no longer believe God. If Jesus had not prayed for Peter, he would have been overwhelmed by the guilt and shame of denying Jesus and never believed again that God still loved him or wanted him in the ministry. Could you guess what would have happened to Peter? He could have gone back to fishing and possibly failed as a fisherman because of the heavy load of shame. Besides, he could have started drinking alcohol and ended up in the rehab center somewhere in Galilee.
Many of us would identify with this story because it is a common human experience. How many of you have been so disappointed by an event in life that you cannot believe again that God still loves you or is with you. Or you believed God for healing, and it did not happen, and now it is almost impossible to believe that God still heals. Satan is out to use events in life, often traumatic events, to make us lose confidence, trust, or hope in God. Scripture calls it the fight of faith.
Remember this: Jesus is still interceding for us. And one of His prayer points is likely that our faith will not fail because of the current news events, that phone call with bad news, or the marital, financial, or health challenges plaguing human beings on earth. Jesus knew that there would be pressure on our faith in the last days. He, therefore, asked, “when the Son of Man returns, shall He find faith on the earth?”. Your faith should not fail.
Watch: Demystifying Faith
When was the last time you experienced a faith failure?
Apply the Word
Fight the good fight of faith. Even though life’s pressures will seek to convince you that God is not with you or does not love you, stand your ground and do not let your faith fail.
Pray right now for yourself and other believers that our faith will not fail.