We've all made tracks through the valley of failure. What matters is how we respond: do we give up and live a defeated life, or do we believe God can restore us?
The story of Peter's failure and sub-sequent restoration gives us tremendous encouragement. Jesus knew that Peter would fall short, but He had specifically prayed for the disciple's faith not to fail. The Lord also told him ahead of time that failure would not be the end of the story-Peter would stand up again and strengthen the others.
Notice an important distinction: Peter failed; he wasn't a failure. The Enemy wants us to view how we fall short as part of our identity rather than something that has resulted from our actions. But the truth is that we belong to God, and our shortcomings can actually prepare us to be used more greatly by Him. In His hand, such times in our lives are tools to push our walk forward in great leaps. In order for the Lord to mold Peter into the leader of strength and humility he'd soon become, the disciple's heart needed to undergo purification by being broken.
When we build walls around our heart to deny God access, we are resisting much-needed brokenness and healing. If we want to see the Lord use us, we must allow Him to get rid of the "chaff" that prevents us from reaching our maximum potential.
Amazingly, failure can be the catalyst that moves us to a whole new vision of what God is doing in our lives. He can utilize our missteps to bring into focus His plans and purposes for our life. The result will be glory to Him and blessing to us.