My Friend Peter
Founder, Refined Family
Kerry Tittle is a mother of 10 children and a 20+-year homeschool veteran. She is the founder of Refined Family. Her desire is to honor Christ while comforting others with the comfort she has received from the Lord.
During my journey in the valley I have developed a love hate relationship with Peter.
In my earlier days, I would mentally scoff at him, standing around that campfire, cowardly denying Christ at such a crucial time. He was such an obstinate brute, and now look at him. That was until my world was turned upside down and I began to avoid suffering with Christ in the very same manner. I didn’t verbally deny Him, but I went through great lengths to hide from him. Then I was brought to a verse that broke me.
Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’
Jesus already foreknew Peter’s heart as well as mine. He knew what I was made of, but I didn’t. I was but dust.
I began to understand Peter more and more as the days wore on. There are days that we are so strongly resolved to walk solidly in our faith … until reality checks in. We find just what we are made of when we have to face trials. We find that our strength is not in our resolve. During our times of weakness, it’s only in His strength that we can even stand at all.
Peter’s life took huge turns and we find that the man who is penning 1 Peter is quite different from the one hiding among the crowds, trying not to be discovered as a Jesus follower. This letter was written significantly later – approximately 64 AD.
The evil emperor Nero had a lust for constantly bigger and better Rome. He came to a point where he burned down what was already there so he could build more. What he didn’t foresee was how this would affect his citizens. Their culture had burned and, what was worse, the deities they had put their hope in had burned and couldn’t protect them from the tragedy. This left a hopeless and hostile atmosphere in smoking Rome. Nero quickly had to act to redirect this anger – so why not blame the Christians? He didn’t like them. They were closely associated with the Jews. So the word was put out throughout the entire Roman empire that the Christians were responsible. And the Roman persecution really began.
In Peter’s letter he doesn’t state exactly where he was within the Roman Empire but, instead, refers to it as Babylon.
1 Peter 1:1-9
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood:
May grace and peace be multiplied to you.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 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. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Wow! Is this the same guy who cowered from people back in the gospels? He is now preaching hope through grieving and persecution!
Yes, this is the same Peter – the hardheaded one – the brash one – the one who couldn’t be intimidated. Now he has become a humble leader for the cause of Christ.
This is what Christ is in the business of doing. He takes us out of our self sufficiency (which is really an illusion anyway) and changes us and our hearts. He gives us the ability to stand in trials and persecution in HIS strength. This is what He did for Peter and this is what He is doing for me….and this is what He can do for you.
No doubt Peter failed and stumbled and returned to old habits just like you and I are prone to. But the Hand that guides and lead us will pick us up, dust us off and help us to get started again.
Oh and about my friend Peter? You should read his letters. They are full of insight for the suffering soul. He walked and talked with my Lord and he is full of Spirit-led wisdom.
May I introduce you to my friend Peter?
Love this Kerry! Needed the reminder today! Still praying for you!!
Thank you, Kerry, for your wisdom and insight and your ability to communicate it. God be with you this month. Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow!