Have you ever said, “I would never”, only to have to eat those words later?
Peter declared his allegiance to Christ by stating that he would never deny Him. I am sure Peter’s desire was genuine, and he believed he could stand true to Jesus no matter what came, but he failed. He did exactly what he said he would not do.
I can relate to Peter. More times than I like to admit, I have boasted I would never do something only to experience failure. Eating those words was often bitter.
The resolve to not deny the Lord, behave in an ungodly way, or not rebel against His will, is not wrong. The problem arises when our surety is based on ourselves.
The Apostle Paul faced the same dilemma. “For that which I do I allow not; for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:15, 24 KJV).
The Lord allows us to fail so that we might realize how incapable and limited we are. We are made dependent on purpose by divine design. When we finally recognize this truth, we can humble our hearts and depend on Christ. Then we will receive the power to accomplish His will. Jesus told us in John 15:5 (KJV), that we can do nothing without Him. “I am the vine, ye are the branches: …without me ye can do nothing”.
After Peter betrayed Christ, he repented and was restored to a right relationship with his Savior. He discovered the power he needed was in Christ, not in his flesh. The reality of this truth was seen on the day of Pentecost when 3,000 people accepted Christ as their Savior. The Lord also inspired him to write two books of the New Testament. Peter gained the strength to stand for Christ and was martyred for his faith.
Paul also came to understand this truth. Through Christ, he found the strength to not only preach the Gospel but to endure beatings, shipwrecks, stoning, and prison. The power became so profound to Paul that he wrote, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13 KJV).
What about you and me? Can we stand true to God and His Word in this evil, corrupt, Godless world? Can we stand against the pressure we feel from unbelieving family, neighbors, and colleagues? Yes, we can. We have the same Lord, with the same limitless power available to us that Peter and Paul had. The key is to abide in Christ and rely on Him.
Abiding means spending time with our Lord, meditating on His word, and yielding our will to His. Peter, Paul, and all believers before us have faced this same dilemma. The power is available, but the question is, will we humble ourselves and depend on Christ? It is our choice.
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” (Ephesians 3:20 KJV).
THOUGHTS TO CONSIDER:
Have I made statements of commitment that I did not keep?
Do I find myself feeling unable to stand true to what I know the Lord wants? What is hindering me?
Am I basing my strength on myself, or am I relying on Lord to help me?
Make a list of Bible verses that can strengthen your faith and your reliance on Christ.