Being Strong In Difficulty

While Judas was being deceived and doing what Jesus had revealed he was about to do, Peter and all the disciples didn’t realize their own weakness and fears. As he had done with Judas when he revealed he knew about his betrayal, Jesus warned Peter of his coming denial. As Judas went out willingly and betrayed Jesus, Peter denied that he would ever deny Jesus. As we would see later, Peter’s problem was not his love for Jesus, because he would later affirm his love for Jesus. Rather, Peter’s problem was his own fear and weakness coming on the heels of fatigue and shock. We all can be strong when we are with our own support group, but when our support is withdrawn and we are tired and possibly fearful then we run the risk of falling. This is what happened to Peter; he didn’t realize how weak he could be when he was tired, afraid and disillusioned. When he was with Jesus and the other disciples, Peter could not fathom denying Jesus and he was probably right. Peter would never have denied Jesus if he had been surround by Jesus and the other disciples. However, Peter was to become isolated and then challenged.

Peter’s example is illustrative to us as well. The famous football coach Vince Lombardi told his players that fatigue makes cowards of us all. Because of that reality, he made sure his players were in the best physical condition as possible so that in the fourth quarter when they were behind and tired they would not give up. We should not assume that just because we are strong when things are going well that we will be equally strong when things are not going well. Rather we should use the time we have to strengthen ourselves in our relationship with Jesus by following Jesus’ instruction to pray so that we will not fall into temptation, so that when we face difficulty we will not falter.

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