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How many times in our Christian journey have we, with all sincerity and conviction, said something like, “l’ll never doubt God again!!” (or words to that effect). It wasn’t said ‘tongue in cheek’. We were absolutely, positively, emphatically, irreversibly, unequivocally convinced that there was nothing that could ever happen in heaven or hell that would cause us to rescind that unconditional claim.

It must have something to do with growing older that makes us progressively suspicious of that claim and our ability to honour it. It didn’t take Peter’s claim very long to be exposed. Do you think he meant it?  I don’t know why but I’m sure he really believed that what he promised he could and would deliver.

Peter declared, “Even if everyone else deserts you, I will never desert you.”  Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, Peter—this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.”  “No!” Peter insisted. “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!” And all the other disciples vowed the same. (Matthew 26:33-35 (NLT)

The lessons of life soon challenge such claims. (Without stopping to check, let me just say that, off hand, I can’t think of any biblical character who has not had such a claim put to the test in his/her own lives).

The “Peter of the Gospels” is a very different man to the “Peter of the Epistles”. The older man has mellowed with a depth that was potentially there in the early years but needed a lot of refining and education before the potential became actual.

Self-confidence is a two-edged sword.  On the one side there is an appropriate appreciation and humility for the measure of faith God has imparted to each of us (Romans 12/1-3. However, there is another attitude (which looks remarkably like the first one but couldn’t be more unlike it in nature).

The difference is in motivation. Peter didn’t take into account that he was unable to honour his claim of death-defying  loyalty.

But there is One who makes the same claim and carries it out completely

“……. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” Hebrews 13:5 (NLT).

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