Peter asked, "Lord, why can't I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you." (John 13:37)
Impatient Peter, who always longed to go beyond the limits of his possibilities. Who would not and could not accept those limits. He walked on water - but doubted and sank soon afterwards. Who defended Christ at his arrest - but who had fallen asleep a little earlier. He was prepared to give his life for the Lord - but a little later, he denied Him three times.
It's enough to make you despair, to start regarding yourself as a failure, an incorrigible sinner.
Yes, and that is what would have happened if he had been self-centered. But all the attention of his soul was focused on his Friend, on the One whom he was the first to recognize as the Christ, the Son of the Living God. It is the same Christ he calls out to when he sinks - and he is saved.
He loves his Christ too much to allow his problems to distract him from growing closer to Him. That is why Christ chose his testimony to be the basis for our growth, "On this rock (Petra) I will build my church."
We should always acknowledge failures, but never focus our attention on them.
"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus." Not on our failures, but on His faithfulness.
Writer for the month - Irina Ratushinskaya from Russia was imprisoned for seven years in a labor camp. She has written about her experiences in a moving book entitled Grey is the Colour of Hope published by Sceptre Books, 1989.
Copyright [C] 1995 Open Doors International. Used by permission.
Click here to sign up for a free monthly newsletter from Open Doors about persecuted Christians.
Day by Day with the Persecuted Church
compiled by Jan Pit with a forward by Brother Andrew (paperback, revised 2000)
Compelling wisdom from the pen of actual believers living amidst persecution, you'll be connected to the suffering, courage, and depth of life that exists in the harshest places in the world. Each of these 365 thought-provoking devotions will deepen your understanding of Christian persecution and provoke you to pray for our brothers and sisters with a new found depth.