I just can’t take it anymore.
The bombardment of emotions wars against man’s own soul. From morning until night, the world, the flesh and the devil pull and tug and yank and tear until nothing but a frazzled disaster of a human being remains. If we are called to bear the mark of that solid, immovable faith that Peter exercised in a moment of Spirit-filled exuberance, how are we to maintain it? The disciple himself was hurled headlong into a gaping pit of emotional frays only days (or was it moments?) later!
As the chapter of stark contrasts comes to a close, Jesus turns to his confused disciples with a calmness that arrests their attention. I see them, in my mind, leaning forward, daring to hope that there is a lasting answer to their question: “Lord, how can we walk in faith and not be overcome by what seems so right to our human instinct? What’s the key?”
What could possibly have guarded Peter’s mind that day as all his dreams were seemingly dashed by talk of death – and the death of the Son of the Living God, no less?! What could have halted his runaway emotions that were nothing short of a lie from satan himself? He had, after all, full access to the keys of the kingdom of heaven! He didn’t have to listen to full-blown lies…or half-truths.
“If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whosoever shall save his life will lose it; but whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall save it. or what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Mt. 16:23-26
It was simple, yet profound truth. Have you heard it before? Did you read the verses above? Or did you skim them…because you know them already by heart? Dear believer, you may quote them backwards and forwards. But do you live them? These words are the seal of guarantee on faith such as Peter’s words revealed. They are salvation from the hasty mistake he uttered when his faith failed. And they are the sure path to completeness in your own life:
- Deny the emotional feelings that dictate what is right, comfortable, desirable, etc. God’s ways are above our ways – fathomless, understood only when obeyed by faith.
- Face the reality of God’s will and embrace it as reality instead of trying to change or reverse it. The crosses we are called to bear must be born in faith, not replaced by our own ideas of right and wrong.
- Totally abandon your earthly values for Christ’s sake. Is your life important to you? Pursue Christ until His glory is worth more to you than 10,000 of your lives combined into one.
Do you believe that He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God? A young woman ached to know this Christ as her own, but as she saw the sacrifices of believers around her, she said to herself that she could never make them. What she did not realize was that she was already sacrificing far more precious things, for no cause and with no friend to walk by her side.
To stand on the rock, Faith, is indeed a difficult place. Storms come…but never so dangerously as on the sand. For, those who bank their lives on reason sink into the mire, rarely to be seen in their right mind again.
Don’t sacrifice a glorious eternity. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and your faith will make you whole.