How fickle our faith can be, running like Victoria Falls one second, and then leaking out like a drippy faucet the next. The winds of change blow and we are off course and flailing about wondering how we got so far off course. We have those moments during a storm when the Holy Spirit so empowers us and our faith can stay so focused on God with no doubt whatsoever that He is near.
Then, the next travail rears it’s ugly head and our once healthy faith starts to dissipate and we limp along making the same silly mistakes, and berating ourselves because our hope came to a roaring halt.
During what I refer to as Church-in-my-Car, I was listening to a Pastor speak about Peter’s faith. How Peter denied Christ three times before the cock crowed. How Peter wept bitterly when he realized it, but how God KNEW he would do so. God knew.
Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.”
Proof that God knows the idiotic things we will do and say before we do. Yet, we continue to lament and rent our self esteem every time we are faced with a dilemma and our faith wans.
If we look a few verses back we see that Jesus tells Peter that he is praying for him.
And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! (Peter) Indeed Satan has asked for you that he may sift you as wheat.
But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”
There are several things to ponder from those verses. Jesus exclaims Peter’s name as if He needs to raise his voice to get Peter’s attention. “Peter, Peter!” Jesus is just after breaking bread at the Lord’s Supper and conferring God’s kingdom on his disciples. That raised a stir; words never before spoken at a Seder.
Jesus tells Peter that Satan has asked for him. Much like Satan asked God if he could attack Job, and God granted him permission.
Jesus then tells how He is interceding on Peter’s behalf, not that Satan would never attack Peter; but that the outcome would be that Peter’s faith would be strengthened so that he could testify of God’s great love. “that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me,”
And when you have returned to Me. God knows we will struggle, falter, skin our knees, raise our fists, wonder and shake our heads. We will run and hide from Him, and whine and complain, until we come to the realization that His will be done.
We will come through our pain and see God’s hand in our dilemma’s and grow in the comfort that He was with us all along. That’s why we are supposed to put on the armor of God. So we can bear the attacks, wage the battle and give God the glory. Again and Again.
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in teh evil day, ad having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit….
and above all the shield of faith to protect yourself from the attacks of the enemy.
Help me to polish my shield for the next test I will face. Help me to suspend my own discomfort and remember that you are with me. That what you have in store for me is to strengthen me and bring to closer to you.