by Paula Harrington
Peter had been blind-sided. One moment he was in the calm and quiet garden with Jesus. The next he stood in a chaotic courtyard at the door of the high priest (John 18:16).
By the warmth of the fire, he must have wondered where God was. Why wasn’t he intervening? Didn’t he care that his son was facing an interrogation by an angry mob? Why didn’t he do something? Overwhelmed by fear, confusion, and disappointment, Peter’s faith wavered and he caved to a grueling situation.
I’ve been there. Haven’t you? Surprised by a revelation, diagnosis, or a death we find ourselves doubting God’s love. Swept away by worry, we too may even deny Christ, if not by words, then by our thoughts or actions. Fortunately, we get to choose how those moments will affect us. We can allow the pain and regret to destroy our faith and keep us from a mission much greater than our troubles or we can go back and cling to the only one who can provide comfort and stability. Peter chose Jesus.
Ten plus years after that terrible night, we find Peter standing at a different door (Acts 12:16). A few minutes earlier he had been sitting in prison, perhaps thinking of his impending death. Now he stood in front of the home of John Mark’s mother, where many of the believers had gathered. This time he was overwhelmed but it wasn’t with fear or disbelief. Peter stood and knocked at the door full of zeal, faith, and evangelism.
How did he get there? Let’s look at what happened to him over the past ten years.
After his fall, he went back to Jesus. He faced his shame and found forgiveness (John 21). He surrounded himself with God’s people. He reminded himself of Christ’s sacrifice. He devoted himself to prayer and Scripture. He proclaimed the good news. He didn’t give up!
Life is full of hard times, that if given the opportunity can rock our foundation and bring us to our knees, but we must remember that even when our days are full of sorrow, we don’t have to be.
Don’t allow your struggles to define your future. Show others that you have found your peace in the one who gave his life for you. And when you’re facing doubt or heartache, take advice from someone who’s been there:
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast” (1 Peter 5:7-10 NIV).
by Paula Harrington