“Even if I have to die with you, I would never deny you” (Matthew 26:35). These were the words of Peter just hours before the Jewish leaders seized Jesus and set into motion the events which we commemorate as “Good Friday.” Peter didn’t wait very long before eating those brave sounding words he blurted out in response to the Lord who told him that he would deny Jesus not once, but three times before the first rooster crowed at dawn.
Many self-confident Christians would also say, “Not me Lord, I would never do that!” And yet, time and again we see believers, great and small, crash and burn on a regular basis. This phenomenon, as well as Peter’s story, brings to mind two important lessons.
First, we should never consider ourselves above temptation. The stories we often hear of Christians who fall remind us that it is easy to let down our guard and head down the wrong path almost before we realize what we are doing. Satan is crafty, and he knows our weakest points. He won’t waste his time tempting us with those things we aren’t really vulnerable to.
The second lesson is this . . . only with God’s help can we overcome the temptations we face. We simply are not strong enough to withstand all that Satan and will throw our way. This is why it is so important to spend time daily with the Lord to stay attuned to His way of thinking, and to seek the power and protection we need.
Peter had spent three years in a close relationship with Jesus, and yet, at the first sign of big trouble he bailed out on the Lord. So, don’t be too cocky when you hear about the failure of a brother or sister in Christ. Instead, look at it as a sign to stick even closer to Jesus. And when the time comes when it is tough to admit you are a believer (and that time comes for us all) don’t deny it! Call on the Lord to give you the courage you need and make it evident your faith is real!