Friday, October 25, 2013
Peter was very sure of himself.
His love for Jesus was immeasurable.
He knew that HE (Peter) would NEVER forsake Him (Jesus).
Jesus made it clear that Peter would stumble . . . horribly.
Oh, the pain of it for both of them!
I have heard it taught that Peter was so full of pride that he needed a good humbling. It is true that a good crushing of self will often reduce us, face down, and Peter was greatly humbled through this experience.
I think Peter loved Jesus so much that he believed that love had the power to keep him from failing Him.
It isn't our love for Jesus that is able to keep us from falling . . . it is His grace.
"And the Lord said, 'Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat, But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren."
A few thoughts:
The Lord must have given Satan permission to sift Peter. Does that scare you? It does me a little. I don't like the thought of being in the hands of the enemy.We can trust Jesus. He will use this dance with the devil for, not only Peter's good, but for others as well. Peter's immense love for Christ would not be enough to prevent the sifting. It was destined.
Jesus prayed for Peter. This fact gives me HOPE!
He did not pray that Peter would not fail, He prayed that Peter's faith would not fail.
Jesus knew that Peter would return to Him. He would give Peter the grace to return.
He gave Peter a command . . .
"When you come back to me, strengthen others."
My paraphrase, "A transformation is about to take place in your heart. When you come out of the furnace you will have understanding that you lacked before you went in. Share the message . . . it will make others stronger and will help them endure when it is their turn. This part of your walk . . . this stumbling is part of your testimony. It will be used for good! I will see to that . . . if you are willing to share."
Perhaps the reason Peter had to have this experience is so that we could be strengthened.
What is your story? Do you suppose that someone else might need to hear it? I don't like telling mine either, but I will if it will help you, my friend. Would you like to come by for tea? I would love to chat with you.
"Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen." Jude 24-25 NKJV