I want my faith to go one direction, forward.
I want it to grow.
I want it to mature.
I want it to strengthen day by day, always progressing forward.
And yet, sometimes it feels a bit like a rollercoaster.
God teaches me something. He saves me from some disaster and, days later, I’ve already forgotten it. I lose sight of where he’s brought me in the past, as I stare at my future.
And I think I am the only one that fails that way.
Until I read the Bible.
God bless the disciples.
Countless times they witness the most amazing miracle and then, within the very same day, doubt Jesus. Fresh off the loaves and fish miracle, they are confused that Christ can walk on water. Sure, he can multiply 5 loaves and 2 fish, that’s a cooking trick, but walk on water?
There’s not a greater example of this rollercoaster than Peter. In Matthew 16:18, Christ says to him “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” He continues in 19, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Why did he say this? Because Peter had faith in the true identity of Christ.
What an amazing moment! Surely Peter is on the upswing and yet, 3 verses later, not chapters, verses, Peter pulls Jesus aside to rebuke him.
How does Jesus respond?
“Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”
The crazy thing is that’s not even Peter’s biggest swing. He’s also the guy that said he’d never leave Christ and then denied him three times.
And, in response, Christ loved him. In his failing. In his messing up. In his mistakes. Christ loved him.
Next time you fail, and you will, remember Peter. The rock who sometimes seemed more like gravel but was always loved.