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The Hard Way
Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give
in to temptation. For the spirit is willing,
but the body is weak! (Matthew 26:41).
In this devo, I will write about a subject of which
I must say—with great confidence—is an area
of expertise. Yes, I will be boasting here. For I’ve
been well-trained and have lots of experience in it. My
subject? Failure. No one wants to experience it, but you
and I have both come to know it up close and personal.
The apostle Peter knew what it felt like to fail Jesus.
Hours before Peter caved, Jesus warned the disciple
that he would deny Him (Luke 22:34). This was more
than simply a prophetic possibility. It was a done deal.
Later, Jesus took His disciples out to the Garden of
Gethsemane to pray and to prepare for “the time when
the power of darkness [would reign]” (v.53; Matthew
26:36-45). Prayer strengthened Jesus as He surrendered
to God’s will (Luke 22:41-43; Mark 14:36). It could
have also provided Peter with God’s peace and power,
but he slept instead of praying (v.37).
Peter had underestimated the severity of his trial. His
self-sufficiency, self-confidence, and self-dependence
ultimately led to self-deception, which fueled his pride
(see Isaiah 2:22; Psalm 62:9). Pride was the cause of
Peter’s failure (Proverbs 16:18). He boasted too much
and prayed too little. Rejecting Jesus’ warning, Peter
didn’t seek God’s power, provision, and protection
through prayer (Luke 22:32). In the end, the impulsive
disciple denied Jesus three times.
When the rooster crowed, Peter was reminded of the
sovereignty of Jesus and the infallibility of His Word (v.61). Peter’s word was
proved fallible, but God’s Word is infallible.
The crowing of the rooster signaled the dawn of a new day. It also ushered in
a new beginning for Peter as he wept bitterly over his failure and repented of it
(v.62). What failure against Jesus will you confess to Him today? —K.T. Sim
Years later, Peter wrote
down some wise
instruction that reflects
what he learned the
hard way (see 1 Peter
5:5-9). How do his
words help you?
What does “denying”
Christ mean to you in
your life? What are some
ways Christians are
tempted to “deny” Jesus
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