Strength Training: Faith

Over the years, I’ve begun to think that our greatest potential strengths are the ones that are tested the most. This is why I believe Peter’s faith was tested so heavily: it became one of his greatest strengths. He is probably known best for his failing to walk on water and denying Jesus before his crucifixion. But let’s examine these two instances a bit closer, I feel like there’s more here than meets the eye.

Let’s start with the story of Peter’s walking on water found in Matthew 14:22-33. No other disciple was willing to do what Peter did. None of them were volunteering or fighting him to be the first one out on the water. He did it himself. He was the only one who sank, but he was also the only one who walked on the water. None of the other disciples were able to defy physics like Peter did.

Now what about the story in Luke 22, when Peter denied Jesus. According to this passage, none of the other disciples were even around. It seems to be like the other 11 had already deserted Jesus. Although Peter ended up denying Jesus, he was the last man standing. I believe this is because had a little more faith than all of the others.

Peter’s faith was tested, but it was ultimately proven to be true when it counted the most: the day of Pentecost. Acts 2 records that on that day, Peter preached a sermon that led to 3,000 people coming to Christ. That’s right, 3,000! Peter had enough faith in God and himself to get up and tell these people about Christ.

In my mind, these tests make Peter more credible, so I’m more likely to trust what he wrote in 1 Peter 1:6-7:

“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith- more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire- may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

Peter’s faith had been tested, but it had also been proven true. Our faith in Christ is one of our strongest assets; it’s a characteristic that can get us through the toughest of times. Right now I’m going through financial and physical struggles that are causing me to place my faith in God in ways that are new to me. I take incredible comfort in the fact that Peter failed a few times, but still ultimately “passed the test” when it really counted. Each test is a new opportunity to grow personally and in my relationship with the Lord. I feel like I’ve failed in the faith department over and over again, but God still hasn’t given up on me, and he hasn’t given up on you either. Now I’m learning to rejoice in trials, because they cause me to grow, just like Peter’s did.

So I encourage you, don’t lose heart! Continue to search after God, especially if you’re going through a trial. Just remember that your faith is being tested like Peter’s was, so that it may be purified like gold. Without the trial, there would be no reward. Keep going; Don’t give up!

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