By Rev Dr Edward Goh
Let our hearts be encouraged as we read 2 Peter 1:3-4, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.” These words flowed out from a life transformed by this divine power.
Along with James and John, Peter was among the inner core of Jesus’ twelve disciples. He called himself “a witness of the sufferings of Christ (1 Peter 5:1).” However, remember how in Mark 14:50, he with the other disciples fled when Christ was arrested. While Christ hung on the cross, they were hiding away in fear. Peter must have written his epistles with the full awareness of the corruption of his sinful nature.
Even though he truly loved the Lord Jesus since his earliest day of following Christ, he was often overcome by his weaknesses. He used to be driven more by his impulses than by a mature love for Christ. He would be the first to answer when there was a question and to offer solutions when he encountered problems. He did not hesitate to walk on water or to cut down his perceived opponent with a sword. He even pledged to die for the Lord. But at the critical moment, he capitulated. He renounced the Saviour (Mark 14:66-72).
This recollection of Peter’s earlier days is not to belittle him but to magnify the grace of God that had changed him. Peter eventually became a leading apostle of the church. As the Lord had told him in John 21:18, Peter would later suffer persecution and imprisonment. He would die for the cause of Christ.
Knowing Peter’s story encourages us to persevere in faith. Peter is an example of what God wants to do in our life despite the numerous times we have failed Him. The love for Christ God has deposited in our hearts through the Holy Spirit is being nurtured and purified as we walk through the challenges of life, including our failures. He promises to make us partakers of the godly nature spoken of in 2 Peter 1 by bringing this love to its maturity in time. May we be encouraged and press on to lay hold of this hope.