Thursday, October 14

Sustained by His promise

Scripture: Ezekiel 21-22, Matthew 26

Matthew 26:34  “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”

Luke 22:31–32 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

Observation

On Tuesday, we were at our NW District pastors conference, and this story of Peter’s denial was the subject of our contemplation.  We read the story in Luke of Peter’s failure and mediated on it, and then shared an insight with those around us.  I was with Laina and my sister, Ann.  Laina shared something I had never considered.

Matthew’s account contains only Jesus’ prediction of Peter’s failure.  That is what I’ve always focused on.  I never focused on the promise of Jesus’ prayer for Peter and His prediction of Peter’s repentance and restoration that are included in Luke’s account.  And of course, this promise came true.  In John 21, Jesus tracked down Peter and restored him.

Peter’s shame over his failure was huge.  He wept bitter tears.  He abandoned ship and went back to his old life of fishing.  But I wonder if this promise was the silver thread that kept him from going completely AWOL.  Did the Holy Spirit remind him, “Peter, Jesus has prayed for you that your faith may not fail.  And it won’t.  He promised that you would come back and strengthen your brothers.  And you will.”  I think Peter was sustained by His promise.

Application

I’m grateful that God is always working, even in the midst of our failures.  I read several years ago that our failures aren’t final.  God always gets the final word in our lives.  And in Peter’s life, the final word wasn’t His failure, but Jesus’ promise of restoration and service.  

I believe this is true in my life too.  God will have the final word, and that word is a promise.  I want to pay close attention to God’s promises and let them sustain me through the difficult times.  And this is a difficult time—has been for all of us—for the last couple years.  

For example, here’s a promise that is very similar to Jesus’ word to Peter.

Philippians 1:6 …being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

God will finish what He started in me!  Covid can’t stop Him.  Politics can’t stop Him.  Not even my weakness and failure can stop Him.

I’m sustained by His promise.

Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your promises to us.  Help me to be attentive to Your promises and be sustained by them.