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A No Quit Attitude

15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven” …

21 From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. 22 Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” 23 But, He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s” (Mt. 16:15-17, 21-23).

The Apostle Peter’s life and faith journey with Christ seems a bit schizophrenic at times. I find great hope in that.

His impetuousness got him into trouble on more than one occasion. He made putting his “foot in his mouth” an art form. He had great zeal for his Master’s mission and was praised for listening to the Spirit of God for revelation. But, he often failed to execute because he misunderstood His methods. Despite Peter’s passion, he often got it wrong. Even after the resurrection.

He had more “ups and downs” than a roller coaster.

He must have, at times, felt completely at a loss. Boy, I can relate to that!

The hope, however, comes because Jesus never gave up on Peter. And he never gives up on me. Despite my failures, legion though they are, Jesus continues to love me, uphold me, and use me.

The one thing Peter understood was that there was no other option than following Jesus. “You do not want to leave, too, do you?” Jesus asked the twelve disciples. Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God” (Jn. 6:67-69).

The hope comes because Jesus takes the sifted (Luke 22:31) and makes him a teacher. He takes the mess and pain in my life and makes a message, an opportunity for healing and wholeness in someone else's.

That’s a miracle. And that is our God, the Miracle Worker, Way Maker, and the Chain Breaker. Give thanks to God today for your testing (1 Thess. 5:18, Jas. 1:2). He’s got a testimony that only you can share. We are blessed in order to be a blessing. Don’t despise the blessings that look like a long dry desert. Those are the ones that often have the most impact.

Prayer: Dear Jesus, Thank you for the trials and testing. We acknowledge that you are working in us (and eventually through us) for your kingdom’s sake. We confess that though it may not look good or feel good, you are sovereign and able. Help us to know, like Peter, that “you have the words of eternal life.” Amen.

Mike Burns

Member, Delta First Baptist Church

Delta, Colo.

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