Despite…Because of

The apostle Peter is such an encouragement to me. Failing again and again, he was still used by God. Struggling so often, he encouraged others. Wavering in his faith, he strengthened the people of God.

The book of 1 Peter recently has been such a boon to my spirit lately reminding me that I have a living hope because of God’s great mercy (1 Peter 1:3).  I remember that I am precious and valuable because I have been ransomed not with perishable things, but with the precious blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:19). He reminds me to long for the sustenance from the Word (1 Peter 2:1). He points me to Christ himself as an example (1 Peter 4:1). He reminds me to cast all my anxiety on the God who cares for me (1 Peter 5:7). And he encourages me to stand firm in the true grace of God (1 Peter 5:12).

Jesus makes a promise to Peter just before he tells him that he will betray him three times before the night is over. He says, “Satan demanded to have you, 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.” (Luke 22:31-32) Peter was obedient to the command. His words down through the ages written by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit have strengthened many. And we also have the promise that Jesus gave to Peter that night. Because we know that, though we feel like we are being sifted like wheat in the hands of Satan, Jesus “is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:25) Jesus is praying for us too!

So often I feel useless because of the sin that so easily entangles and trips me up. How can I ever be useful to the Kingdom? But as I look at Peter’s life and his legacy, I realize that it isn’t despite his mess ups that God uses him; it is through and because of them. And so I say, “Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee… Take myself and I will be ever, only, all for Thee.”