Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 (NASB)
If anyone was qualified to make this statement based on personal experience, it was certainly Peter. Peter, who had, of his own accord falling down under the attack of the devil and failed to keep his bold promise. Peter had promised in the most explosive terms his unfailing allegiance for Jesus Christ.
At their last supper together Jesus spoke to Peter about what he (Peter) was going to go through and they had this exchange.
“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” But he said to Him, “Lord, with You I am ready to go both to prison and to death!” And He said, “I say to you, Peter, the rooster will not crow today until you have denied three times that you know Me.” Luke 22:31-34 (NASB)
Jesus knew. Peter didn’t. Jesus cared. Peter didn’t understand.
The time may come for each of us to be tested just as Peter was and likely we will fail just as Peter did. But we don’t have to. We will if we try, like Peter to be strong in our own ability. Because, we do not have the ability to stand up to and face the enemy of our soul and the enemy of God on our own effort.
You know, that soft buffer than has kept us comfortable in our country? That soft buffer called “A Christian Nation” which has made us soft. That buffer is gone. It simply is no longer there. Atheists are getting bold and striking out. Just now we are waking up to the fact that being a Christian, a believer of Jesus Christ actually means some people will hate us and will persecute us and say false and evil things about us because of our faith because we say we believe the words of Jesus Christ.
It is only by the grace and power of God that we will ever be able to respond to the hater of God when we are their mark. It may never get as severe as having to refuse to deny God and risk death but such things are happening and the occurrences will increase. John Piper said in one of his podcasts the following when answering a question of whether one will have the courage to not deny God if threatened with death: “Of course this is beyond us. None of us in ourselves will die for Jesus. This is a gift of grace if we are able to trust him and love him in that moment. So pray. That is the main thing here. Pray that you will not be like Peter who boldly said: I will never deny you (Matthew 26:35) and then he fails three times (Matthew 26:75). We need to pray: O God, don’t let me boast as though I could do this. Help me to depend utterly on you. http://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/gun-to-your-head-will-you-deny-christ
There is so much in the word of God that can give us the confidence that whatever we may face because of our faith, God is always there. He never leaves us, He never fails us, He never forsakes us or deserts us, He is with us wherever we go and we do not need to be afraid.
Tough assignment but nevertheless absolute truth because it comes from God.