I think the story of Peter is an amazing one that gives me hope and encouragement. I love stories and people of the Bible that seem so real to me, and the story of Peter is one of those. When Jesus was preaching by a lake one day, Peter was nearby. Peter was a fisherman who had been fishing and not catching anything. But Jesus told Him to throw his nets out once more. So Peter did. There were so many fish in that boat that Peter had to get help from another boat and it was so full too that they both started to sink from the weight of the fish (Luke 5:1-11). See, it just took one moment of Peter coming to an obedience in the Lord for the Lord to show him a great miracle. What a miracle that took place right in front of Peter’s eyes! His one act of faith in Jesus, even though I’m sure there was doubt because he’d already fished all night, God still showed him His amazing power. And Jesus told him that He had something even greater for him to do than catch boat loads of fish, and that was to fish for people. So Peter followed Him. What an amazing thing it is to know that we can come to Jesus, even if we are doubting, and just obey Him, and He has wonderful miracles in store for us and a greater plan, just like Peter.
But Peter’s story is even more amazing and encouraging to me than just that fact. Peter isn’t a picture of perfection. Does that sound like you and your life? I know I’m flawed! None of us are perfect, and that’s ok. Peter is a man who seems to be unstable in his ideas and characteristics. One day when Jesus is arrested, he is bold and brave and cuts a mans ear off for taking Jesus (John 18:10). Then just a short time later, he says he doesn’t even know the man who he’d been so caring about a short time before (John 18:17). Sometimes he even bragged about his love for Jesus (Matthew 26:35), but then was found to be cowardice when asked about him. He even cursed the Bible says when asked about Jesus (Matthew 26:74). So, here we have this man, who at one moment brags of his love for Jesus, cuts a mans ear off who wants to harm Jesus, then turns right around and curses and denies Jesus! Then when he denies Jesus the Word says he wept bitterly (Matthew 26:75). He was bitterly sorrowful for what he’d done, sad that Jesus told him he would, probably resenting being so proud and saying he’d never do that. Does that sound like you at times? Does it seem you love Jesus with all of you one day and then forget you know Him some moments and in some actions? Are there days you are so proud and brag or even cuss a little, then the next moment you are praising Jesus? Do you weep bitterly when you realize your wrongs? I have some encouragement for you if any of this is pulling at your heart. Don’t beat yourself up! Don’t get down on yourself. Don’t look at all the things you do wrong.
Jesus didn’t look at Peter how he was in those moments. Jesus looked at Peter and saw how he was going to be one day through the transforming power of Jesus Christ!
God is so gracious to us. We are just like Peter, so imperfect in our days. But God is still with you in those imperfections. He will work on those for you. You just have to stay near to Him and keep following Him anyway and allow His grace to cover you. He has a divine plan for you. We can read on in the Bible and see how God used Peter in such a great way. Even in his imperfections, Peter’s life had a plan. So does yours. The Holy Spirit is at work in you. Don’t rush the process. Don’t feel down and out that you aren’t where you want to be in your walk. Don’t get down that there are things that may come out that you wished weren’t a part of you anymore. Stay near to God and let His transforming power work. Repent and draw near to Him and He will take you to your divine destiny.
May you be blessed and encouraged.
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