On the night before His death, Jesus made this announcement: ‘Tonight you will all stumble in your faith on account of me, because it is written in the Scriptures: “I will kill the shepherd, and the sheep will scatter.” But after I rise form the dead, I will go ahead of you into Galilee’ (Matthew 26:31-32 NCV). If the disciples who had spent three-and-a-half years walking and talking with Jesus, hearing His messages and seeing His miracles could stumble, then any of us can. ‘You will all stumble.’ But the promise was lost on Peter. ‘Everyone else may stumble in their faith because of you, but I will not’ (v.33 NCV). It wasn’t one of Peter’s best moments. ‘Everyone else may…’ – that was arrogant. ‘…I will not’ – that was relying on self. Peter’s trust was in Peter’s strength. But Peter’s strength would fail him. Jesus knew it: ‘Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to test all of you as a farmer sifts his wheat. I have prayed that you will not lose your faith! Help your brothers be stronger when you come back to me’ (Luke 22:31-32 NCV). Satan would attack and test Peter, but he would never claim him. Not because Peter was strong, but because Jesus was. He prayed for Peter, and He prays for us too: ‘Father, you have given me your name; now protect them by the power of your name…I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me’ (John 17:11, 20 NLT). Let’s acknowledge that we can’t do everything in our own strength, and rely on God’s instead.
Every morning, say a short prayer asking God to help you avoid stumbling during the day ahead. Ask Him to help you rely on His strength rather than your own.
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