2 Corinthians 12:7-10, Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. (10) Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
When Peter denied he would never abandon the Lord, he was as sincere as it gets. He really believed that nothing could challenge his dedication to the point of failure, and yet, that is exactly what happened. (Matthew 26:33)
Peter was a “take-charge” kind of guy. He had seen his own heroic efforts against the seas of Galilee against storms of many kinds. He understood the ferocity of nature and what it could bring. Storms on the sea are no small thing to be sure. How hard could life actually get in comparison? Surely, he was a little braver than the average person. That was no exaggeration. But what he faced on the night of the arrest of Jesus was beyond anything he had faced. He had trusted and hoped in someone beyond himself. He had placed all of his faith in someone who could raise the dead, but who willingly walked with His false accusers.
Truthfully, none of the disciples were in a better position. They were as unprepared for the observance of the crucifixion of Jesus as Peter. Peter did exactly what Jesus predicted, he denied Christ three times. Why did Peter fail at such an important moment? What could cause such a faithful person to walk away from their faith? If we can understand this, we can answer the cause of many of our own failings.
Somewhere on Peter’s spiritual journey, he forgot the reason he was faithful in the first place. He had forgotten about strength based on God, and not himself. Paul would record this principle in 2 Corinthians 12:10.
Therefore, I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions,with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
Jesus is the only real strength we have. When we believe we are the source of own strength we become as vulnerable as people can be. We are weak and unarmored against a powerful foe. When temptation confronts our spiritual well-being, we need to petition the only Savior we have. Our best defense against “the prince of the power of the air” is to be the best prayer warriors we can be. Realize our position as His child, remain faithful against any odds, and acknowledge His strength as our only hope.
Even when Peter fell, Jesus encouraged him not to give up. When we fail to keep the faith, remember that Jesus stands ready to forgive and heal our deepest transgressions and wounds, just like He did with Peter. May we always be found seeking the forgiveness, grace and love of our Savior! Godspeed on your journey…