I’ve been thinking today about the Apostle Peter, since our small group is beginning a study on 1st Peter, and some comments made at the introductory study tonight caught my attention.
Before Jesus was betrayed, Peter told Him that he would die for Him rather than deny Him – but despite his brash and bold protestations, he fell away when the moment of pressure came.
After the resurrection, when Jesus was restoring Peter and preparing him to lead the church, He tells Peter, in effect, that one day he will die for Him. And in the end, Peter did die for Jesus, crucified in Rome under Nero’s reign.
What his own strength and determination could not achieve, God’s grace was able to perform. Peter couldn’t make himself endure to the end, over the fear and the danger of his circumstances, but God, by sanctifying him, by filling him with His Spirit, by giving him the strength he needed to persevere, could.
So it is with us. When challenges and trials come, it is not our own willpower or character that will enable to us to endure, but rather God’s grace holding us fast, keeping us going. Instead of relying on our own abilities and reserves of strength, we must throw ourselves into the mercy of Christ, pleading with Him to draw us near to Him and keep us faithful when we are unable to do so on our own. If we so pray, He will answer; He does not turn away the soul that falls on Him.