Today, I want to encourage you and remind you that your Christian walk is a journey. And this journey will not be perfect as you may hear stories from others of a perfect process that no one has messed up along the way. Everyone’s journey will look different. We will all stumble from time to time. Rest assure that God is doing a good work in you and through you. The story of Peter is a good example. He struggled and stumbled in striving to live like Christ and God used him in mighty ways. We can be encouraged to know that like Peter, our journey is a process where we are constantly under construction.
Peter’s life story is not told chronologically by itself in any one book so we will jump around a few books. Peter had many highs and lows as a follower of Christ. At his first meeting with Jesus before he became a follower, while his name was still Simon, Jesus told him his name will be changed to Peter which means rock (John 1:42). Early on as a disciple, Peter had so much faith in Christ that one word from Jesus and he walked on water (Matt 14:29). Then in a blink of an eye, he became terrified at the wind and waves and started sinking. Jesus rescued him but called him out for his little faith (Matt 14:30). Jesus asked the disciples who they thought he was and Peter gave the perfect answer by saying “You are the Messiah” (Matt 16:16). But then a few verses down the same Peter told Jesus what Jesus was saying was wrong, that Jesus would never have to suffer. Jesus responded by calling him “satan” and a stumbling block because he has limited human concerns (Matt 16:22-23). Things get even more interesting in Matt 26 when Peter declares that he will never fall away from Jesus, no matter what happens (vs. 33). He gets invited as one of the three disciples to join Jesus for a special time of prayer (vs. 37-38). However, Jesus would return three times and find Peter asleep all three times when He needed him to be praying (vs 40,43,45). Shortly after Jesus is arrested, while the other disciples are nowhere to be seen, Peter follows Jesus at a distance (vs 58). Peter remained nearby all night but before the rooster crowed, Peter denied Jesus not once, but three times (vs. 70,72,74). Fast forward to John 21:15-17, Jesus rose from the dead and appears to his disciples. He shows Peter how big his grace is as He asked Peter three times if he loves Jesus, then reinstates him and instructs him to take care of his sheep (Christians). Fast forward again to Acts, Christ ascended to heaven and the disciples establish the first church in Jerusalem. Peter preaches a bold message about Jesus and a crowd of 3000 are baptized (Acts 2:41). That was a lot of verses about Peter’s life. His life was much like a roller coaster. He kept having a mix of high points and low points.
No one perfectly follows Jesus – not even Peter, who was one of Christ’s closest and you might even say “best” followers! Peter faced obstacles like fear, peer pressure, and not seeing things from a Christian perspective that caused him to struggle. So don’t get frustrated or have unrealistic expectations of what life will be like as you follow Jesus. It won’t be perfect. You won’t be perfect. But if you are humble enough to realize that God is working in you, you will see yourself becoming “more and more, in every way like Christ”!
Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6
So them just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9