Last week, in Mark 8:27-30, Peter received divine revelation from God regarding Jesus the Messiah. But how quickly our own intellect reasserts itself in our lives!
Peter and the other disciples loved Jesus. It’s likely that only His inner-circle knew Jesus was the Messiah, but even they didn’t fully understand. Jesus elaborated on what was soon to come. He would suffer many things:
- Rejection by the Elders, Chief Priests and teachers of the law
- He would be killed
- He would rise after three days
Peter thought he and Jesus and the merry band of disciples would just go on healing and proclaiming the good news for the rest of their lives – he was loving this life. So he took Jesus aside to tell Him to stop talking such nonsense.
Peter, who was just given a revelation from God the Father earlier is now scolded as a “Satan” for his rebuke of Jesus. Peter didn’t understand why it all had to end. He had his own ideas of what the future would hold; “suffering many things” and Jesus being killed was not his vision.
So it is with us. We plan, we schedule, we dream of the future, and if we’re determined enough, we might just achieve our goals. But at what cost? Will we need to deny Christ in order to do so?
How I’d love to say that I’m always in God’s will, how I’m obedient, thinking only of His purposes. In varying degrees, we are all capable of obedience; but none of us is 100%. Yet little by little, day by day, God works in our hearts – allowing us to fall, to suffer, and to grow more obedient and more faithful.
One lesson I’ve learned over the years is to step outside myself in my suffering and examine what God might be teaching me by this experience. I often lack the presence of mind to do this, but on rare occasions God allows me to experience a tiny growth spurt, which enables me to endure the next suffering better.
Embrace the reality of suffering – grow from it and become one of God’s great warriors, just like Peter did!