THIS MONTH'S THEME: CALM. DOWN.
Denial. Disappointment. Despair. It did not matter if the pain was brought upon him or self-inflicted, when it came to matters of the Spirit and his Savior, Peter the disciple felt all things deeply. His affirmations of Christ were deep. His proclamations of salvation - deep. His fear of persecution and torture - deep. I have heard anyone ever say Simon Peter was lukewarm.
The Passion From Christ
In the sequence of events following Resurrection, Jesus' instruction, rebuke, and restoration of Peter always seems to play out in the presence and scrutiny of the disciples. But there is one incident where we find Christ in the shadows with Peter:
So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” ~Luke 24:33-34, New King James Version
Here, we see no fiery banter or cutting off ears. The first unveiling by Peter of who Christ is has passed. The race to the graveyard has already been run. This seemingly forgotten moment in the Resurrection story comes after an empty bomb but before Peter's public restoration. It is a sacred, almost silent moment in our faith's history exposing a passion from our Lord and Savior to secure every soul.
Jesus did not seek out this encounter to relive the drama of a fiery fishermen named Peter. He went after the soul of Simon suffering in solitude.
“Look at it this way. If someone has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders off, doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine and go after the one? And if he finds it, doesn’t he make far more over it than over the ninety-nine who stay put? Your Father in heaven feels the same way. He doesn’t want to lose even one of these simple believers. ~Matthew 18:12, The Message Translation
Judas was damned and never to be found. Simon was lost yet never forgotten.
Despite his betrayal and antics, Simon Peter still was one thing to Christ: a simple believer.
Fearful? Without question.
Tormented by what could be? Yes.
But still, a simple believer.
The Christ we serve has such an eternal passion for your eternal security that even your most devastating mistakes will not keep him from you if you simply believe.
Believe in Him. He certainly believes in you.
The greatest battles will always be won by the God 'n You.
Later, Jesus reminds Simon Peter to do for others what was done for him:
"Feed my sheep."
Simon, my sheep have strayed. They are suffering in solitude just like you were. Be the rock I know you to be. Be the shepherd I have called you to be. No judgement. No criticism. Leave no one behind. I came for you when you were lost. Go get your brothers.
No, God does not desire that you be hot or cold, but he does not want you overwhelmed either. Anxiety and suffering seeks to devour all of us at some point. When you time comes, remember... Jesus is near. Be with him. Listen for his direction. Let him order your steps towards any additional support you need to be restored.
Your deliverance begins with an audience of one. The One.
Do you believe?
I pray you have been blessed by the calm. down. series! Did it impact your faith? Help with your anxiety? If so, reply back and share how it blessed you! Next month, join for a special celebration called, This is For the Sistas! And do not worry, Brothas, you're up next! Be on the lookout for This is For the Brothas! in June. Either way, everyone stay tuned and get the inside scoop on the godly women and men in your life. Do not miss it! It all starts next week. Until then, much love!
Equipping You for Intimacy, Transparency, and Destiny with Christ.