Take Heart, God Will Finish His Work In You

Matthew 16:21-23—From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offense unto me: for thou savourest, not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

From a study of the chronological life of Jesus, we see this turning point came right before the transfiguration. Three of the disciples would witness the glory of Jesus. Their eyes would confirm what they had been thinking in their hearts. Yet, they still had an earthly kingdom mindset. Jesus had to prepare them for the shock they were about to face; seeing Him suffer at the hands of religious leaders, killed, but rising again to life. Peter had just been commended for his perception of the revelation of God that Jesus is the Messiah. Then Peter became an instrument of Satan. How did he go from one extreme to the other so quickly? He turned back to mind the things of men. When we have a heavenly mindset, influenced by the Holy Spirit, the ways and preferences of man are not a priority. We seek out the ways and preferences of God. When that means pain and loss, there is a temptation to retreat to man’s ways. Peter loved Jesus. Yet, his love was brotherly kind of love, and he knew it. It was not the love of God that prefers others above your self. We often resort to minding the things of men. It is our old nature. We think it is safer, but if we could see through God’s eyes, we would see it is foolishness. It ends in vanity. It is the ways of God, the mind of Christ, that produces fruit that remains. May the Lord help us to see beyond the present pain, filling our minds with His thoughts, to see the eternal good He produces through suffering and loss in this life. Peter did not cling to His revelation that Jesus was Messiah for very long, but God is not done working in Peter. There are still some crash landings and recoveries that are ahead in the story, but it ends with God finishing the work He started in him.

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