When trials come
On the way, Jesus told them, “All of you will desert me. For the Scriptures say, ‘God will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ But after I am raised from the dead, I will go ahead of you to Galilee and meet you there.” Peter said to him, “Even if everyone else deserts you, I never will.” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, Peter—this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny three times that you even know me.” “No!” Peter declared emphatically “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!” And all the others vowed the same. Mark 14:27-31
Before Jesus was arrested, Peter proudly asserted that he will not turn his back to Jesus. “Even if everyone else deserts you, I never will.” (Mark 14:29). Yet God knew from the start that some of His disciples will turn their backs from Jesus and this included Peter. The Scriptures had prophesied it. God always knew the disciples would fail His Son. Jesus will not be surprised when this happens. God already planned out everything. He knows that eventually His disciples will change, will develop a longing for a relationship with Jesus, and they will be completely sold out to Jesus. They would fearlessly preach the gospel, perform miracles, and teach others. The pressure of standing up for and believing in Jesus caused the disciples, including Peter, to deny Him before the religious leaders. The difficult circumstance the disciples were facing that caused them to get despair and desert Jesus. There will be times where it seems that events are lined up to lead you to fail in your relationship with God. As you follow Jesus you will face moments of great anguish. You did not start them, but the source might be from opposition that leads to persecution because of your faith in God or the heaviness of your circumstances. However, it seemed that you are overcome and they seemed to result to failure. Even before you face difficulties in life, He already provided provisions that will help you live faithfully to God. “By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.” (2 Peter 1:3). After the resurrection, the risen Christ encountered Peter on the seashore and restored Him back by asking him about the sincerity of his love (see John 21:15-17). If you are facing challenges that seem overwhelming, don’t be discouraged. God already knows and had already foreknown them and He is prepared to help you respond. “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure” (1 Cor. 10:13).
Noel De Guzman Westside Baptist Church Los Angeles, CA