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Monday, September 19, 2011

Have You Heard the Rooster Crow?

I have read the passages of Peter’s denial of Jesus many times.   Jesus forewarned that Peter would deny Him three times before the rooster crowed twice.   Peter was furious that Jesus would “question” his dedication. 

In Mark 14:29, “Peter said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble, yet I will not be.””  NKJV

 Further on, he passionately declares, “If I have to die with You, I will not deny you!”  Mark 14:31b NKJV

And yet, he did. We all do, we are human.  The real question isn’t if we are going to mess up, but how we respond afterwards.  

Mark records that when Peter heard the rooster crowing “he thought about it, and he wept.” Mark 14:72b NKJV

I can picture Peter easily in my mind before the rooster crowed.  Boasting of his devotion, arrogantly secure in his faithful loyalty to his God, after all, he had already walked many miles with Him.  He had already forsaken so much, gone through so much, witnessed the power of Jesus and partaken of miracles too incredible to comprehend, how could he doubt his faithfulness?  
How could he have known his dedication would falter, that there would come a time when the testing of his faith would be beyond what he could withstand?  He had so much to build his claims upon, and yet his commitment wavered. 

But how could it not, when he took his eyes off Christ and placed them on the situation?  He was surrounded by the enemy.  He was a foreigner among a hostile crowd, he was alone and he was scared.  His Savior had been taken captive and he couldn’t comprehend what was taking place.  If only he remembered to keep his gaze on Christ, like when he walked on water, but Peter was human and he forgot.  He forgot to keep his eyes on Jesus and his faith was shaken.  (Matt 14:22-33)  

When Peter realized his mistake he was remorseful, he wept.  I can relate.  It’s horrible to know my sin causes Jesus pain, it’s awful to realize Christ knew I would falter and it is humbling to acknowledge how much I need a Savior, that I will never be good enough… thankfully He loves me regardless.  

I wonder, how do you react when your devotion is tested and you, like Peter, find your commitment falling short?  How do you feel?  Do you learn from it?  Do you realize your need for Christ, accept His forgiveness and move on?  Or does Satan beat you up, make you feel worthless and keep you down?  

I know I have felt all those things.  There are times I am on fire for God.  When I can witness to anyone, can overcome any adversity, and can tackle any obstacle Satan throws my way.  I feel like I can walk on water, battle Goliath and withstand the fiery furnaces all for my God.  I feel my faith can keep me safe in the lion’s den, part the red sea and heal the multitudes because I know my God is with me!  

I’ve also had times where my pride came before my fall.  Looking back, I see I transferred my faith in Gods abilities to faith in my ability.  I had gotten confused on who had the power to accomplish all things. I feel pretty crummy when I think about that, but thankfully, through Christ, I can look back and learn.  What Satan wants to use to defeat me only brings me closer to the realization of how much I need a Savior!  

Like Peter, Jesus will forgive us and will use us.  When we remember our need of Him, He will be there to wipe our tears.  We can rest assured that we have always been secure in Him; we are never in danger of completely falling.  It’s just that sometimes we need to hear the rooster crow to remind us of where to keep our gaze.  

We all have things we are not proud of, times we wish we would have been stronger for Christ, times our faith has wavered.  Isn’t it good to know Christ loves us anyway, that His love for us isn’t based on our limited capabilities?  

Are there any passages of scripture that comfort you when your faith is being tested?   

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