I recently read through the book of ‘the Acts of the Apostles’ in a single sitting. It was incredible just absorbing in one go the incredible feats, miracles, journeys, sermons and sacrifices of the first Christians. I was humbled.
However, what I was most struck by was the man Peter. I read in amazement how he stood up with such boldness and addressed crowds of often thousands of people (Acts 2:14-41; 3:12-26); how he fearlessly condemned the religious leaders of the day in scathing speeches (Acts 4:8-11); how he was so filled and overflowing with the Holy Spirit that even his mere shadow healed the sick as he passed by (Acts 5:15).
But what struck me most was not what he was accomplishing then, but what he had been before.
Was this really the same Peter to whom Jesus commanded “get away from me, Satan!” (Matthew 16:23)?
Was this the same Peter who stepped out onto the sea towards Jesus and almost immediately began to sink as doubt set in (Matthew 14:29-31)?
Was this the same Peter who in cowardice denied any knowledge of or association with his master Jesus the night he was betrayed (Matthew 26:69-75)?
And yet this epic transformation was no surprise to Jesus. Even in the midst of his failures as he walked with the Lord, Jesus knew exactly what was in him, what he was capable of, and what he could and would become. That it why Jesus could say with confidence:
“Now I say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.”
What about us?
So what has God declared regarding your own life? Who has he announced you to be? Let me tell you!
He has said you are a beautiful creature, designed to reflect his image and glory!
He has said you are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus! - 2 Corinthians 5:21
He has said you are a beloved child of God! - 1 John 3:1
He has said you are the seed of Abraham and an heir to every promise! - Galatians 3:29
You may look at your present self and find it hard to reconcile those declarations to what you see. But remember that God who knows the end from the beginning, who knows you inside and out, who is the author of your life and has put everything in you for his glory - knows exactly what he’s talking about. And despite what you see now, you can have confidence that as you continue to walk with him, fellowship with him and learn from him, his words concerning you will not fail!
Links: Click the bible references in the text to read the passages via BibleGateway.com