The sky grew black as the sun hid behind the horizon. The entire world was about to change. The disciples had just finishing reclining at the Passover with Jesus and were still thinking about his words. “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.” What did Jesus mean? How was he to suffer? They continued to think on these strange words coming from the Master’s mouth. It wasn’t the first thing he had said that they did not understand.
Simon Peter walked up to Jesus side, his heart being unsettled by what he just heard Jesus say. “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers,” Jesus said to him, looking directly into his eyes.
Peter said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.”
Peter walked away from Jesus, feeling ashamed and confused over what he just heard. He was willing to follow Christ to death. Why would Jesus say he would deny him three times? Even Peter didn’t fully understand the depravity of his heart.
Peter, the author of the epistle 1 Peter, knew what it meant to suffer for Christ. He walked with Jesus, dined with Jesus and talked with Jesus. He witnessed his beloved Lord die a gruesome death on the cross as well as his resurrection from the dead. As we have studied the book of 1 Peter, the Lord has continually brought me back to study Peter’s life. Why did he instruct the church the ways he did? The answer is from his firsthand experiences and from the ways Christ had redeemed him and taught him the Gospel.
As Jesus was being led to the cross, Peter denied him three times, just as Jesus had told him. In Luke 22:31-32, we see three important things: 1. Satan demanded to have Peter to “sift him like wheat.” 2. Jesus prayed that Peter’s faith wouldn’t fail. 3. Peter’s experience with his own sinful flesh would be for the purpose of strengthening the brothers (which we see him doing in his epistle). Jesus was showing Peter that his temptation wouldn’t be wasted but redeemed and used for the glory of God. His soul would be “restored”, or mended, by God’s very own hands for Kingdom work.
1 Peter 5:10 reflects the promised hope that Jesus shared with Peter. We learn a few key truths from this verse:
- As believers, we will suffer for Christ.
- Suffering is temporary – only for a little while.
- God’s grace is sufficient for us.
- God has called us to eternal glory in Jesus!
- He himself watches over us and does a work in us through our suffering.
- He will restore us – perfect, render complete, mend, repair (meaning we once were broken)
- He will confirm us – make stable, place firmly (meaning we once were unsteady)
- He will strengthen us – to strengthen one’s soul (meaning we once were weak)
- He will establish us – to make stable (meaning we once were unstable)
The sufferings and trials we go through are for the glory of God and that he might make us into a people more like him. Peter’s three denials were a reminder to him that he desperately the grace of God through Jesus. We have all tripped up in our faith, but we have the promised hope that Jesus has prayed for our faith and is with us to catch us. Anytime you stumble, take hope in the promise of God to himself mend your broken soul, plant your feet firmly in the gospel, strengthen your heart and mind in trusty and make you steadfast in faith.
God’s grace never runs out. “He giveth more grace,” sister. Grab hold of grace today and cling to Christ.
clinging to grace,