We all need a fresh start sometimes. Maybe it's to revive your marriage, fire up your career, or experience victory over a struggle you have.
The apostle Peter also came to a point where he needed a fresh start. Luke chapter 22 tells us that after Jesus was arrested, Peter was standing there warming himself by a fire, and he denied knowing Jesus three times. Jesus turned and looked squarely at Peter; ashamed and humiliated, Peter walked outside and wept bitterly. Can you imagine having that weight on your shoulders?
But Jesus had Peter's fresh start already planned. That start began at Jesus' empty tomb three days later, when an angel told the women, “He has risen! He is not here…. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you'” (Mark 16:6-7 NIV).
Did you catch that? The angel said, “Tell his disciples… and Peter.” I've heard many possible reasons for this addition, but I wonder if maybe the angel knew that Peter didn't feel much like a disciple at that point. The angel was saying: “Make sure you tell Peter, because he's wondering if Jesus still loves him.”
Some time later, after hearing the news and seeing Jesus with his own eyes, John chapter 21 tells us Peter went to Galilee and went fishing all night with six other disciples. At sunrise, they looked out and saw Jesus standing on the shore. And Jesus yelled out, "Try fishing on the right side of the boat!" So they did—and 153 fish filled the net.
Peter then dove into the water and swam to Jesus—who had a charcoal fire ready. And I'd be willing to bet the smell of that fire reminded Peter of his last fireside failure. Three times he'd denied Jesus. And now three times Jesus asked him, “Do you love me?” so Peter could answer, “Yes!” Peter knew he had been given a fresh start—what amazing grace!
Jesus wants to give you the fresh start you need, too. That's how desperately He loves you and desires to lavish His grace upon you. He's done all the work necessary so you can be radically changed. It's a simple trade: You give Jesus your disappointments and your sin, and He gives you His Life to the fullest!
So if you need a fresh start today, remember God's incredible grace. Trust in Jesus' promise that you're a new creation. In Him, there is grace that covers every sin—and gives you exactly the fresh start you need!