Devotional Readings

Sorrow For the Broken Heart

Despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? Romans 2:4.

Jesus came to demonstrate to His disciples, and to all of us, the love and forgiveness of our heavenly Father. He wanted to show us that God does not condemn us–that’s the work of the enemy. He wanted to show that God is constantly working in every possible way to get as many people to accept His love as He possibly can. His lovingkindness leads us to repentance, as it did in the experience of Peter.

Peter stood by the fire and they pointed the finger at him. He said, “Oh, no. No, I’m not. I’m not, either.” And they said, “Yes, you are.” Finally, he began to curse and swear and to deny that he ever knew Jesus.

Right in the middle of his cursing and swearing, he looked across the way and saw Jesus looking at him. In that look was no anger or resentment or hurt feelings. There was a look of pity, of sorrow. As Peter looked upon the face of Jesus, a flood of memories began to come back. He saw himself by the sea when Jesus called him to follow Him. Again he saw himself in the hassle over the Temple authorities and tax coins, and Jesus went to his aid and got him out of the jam. Once more he saw himself out in the sea. Jesus is reaching down and pulling him up out of the angry waters. And again, just a few hours earlier–he could still see it–walking in the Garden with Jesus, and He had said, “Peter, Satan is determined to have you, but I’ve prayed for you. I’ve prayed for you.”

And all these memories came flooding in. Peter was transfixed on the spot. Suddenly, as he stood there, he saw another hand raised to slap Jesus, and he realized that that was the same as his hand, and that he had dealt the hardest blow to the heart of Jesus that night. Blindly he turned from the fire and rushed out of the courtyard gate, out of the city, across the brook, into the Garden.

There he groped around in the darkness until he found the place where Jesus had been praying. He fell on his face and wished he could die. He was really sorry. He had broken the heart of his best Friend. Peter’s was real repentance.

from Faith that Works
Morris Venden | Review & Herald (2000)
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