Dear Children of the Kingdom;
May God our Father, and His Son, our gracious Lord and Savior Jesus-Christ be with you all, as you read this letter. Could it be that most of us are overconfident about our own faith? When we think of our own love for Jesus or how strongly we believe that the Bible is in fact the Word of God, we say “No one can take away from me what I believe. No one can take my Jesus from me”.
But aren’t those statements a declaration of how we perceive our own faith? We believe that our faith must be strong enough to the point where there is nothing that will ever take it away from us. However, and paradoxically, when times gets really tough, we try to encourage ourselves (or someone tries to encourage us) from the erroneous idea that Jesus said…”you only need faith the size of a mustard seed. Even if your faith is as tiny as a mustard seed, you can move mountains, you can surmount this challenge.”
Is our overconfidence pure ignorance or foolish pride? It must be at least one of the two.
Peter, a close of disciple of Jesus, got to learn just how overconfident he was about his own faith, and the lesson was perhaps the most painful one he had ever received.
On the night He was to be arrested, Jesus said this to His disciples:
Matthew 26: 31,32 – Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: “‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ 32 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”
But look at what Peter, being overconfident of his faith, said…
Matthew 26:33 – Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”
To which Jesus responded:
Matthew 26:34,35 – “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” 35 But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same.
Not just Peter, but all the disciples confessed that they will never deny Jesus…and the THEY ALL DID IT THAT SAME NIGHT. You see, their feelings for Jesus was not the problem. Those feelings were genuine.
But it is not by the feelings that one lives, it is not by them that one stands, and it is not by them that one honors Christ. Instead, it is by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God that one lives, stands and honors Christ. And His words were… “This very night you will all fall away on account of me…”.
Are we better than the disciples who walked with Jesus? They were men and women just like us, and we are men and women just like them!
Have you considered the reason Jesus gave for why the time of tribulation will be shortened in the end days.
Matthew 24:21,22 – …there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. 22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.”
If those days of tribulations are not shortened, no one will make it! But those days are shortened so as not to break the elect!
Do not be overconfident about your faith, it will be your downfall. Instead, continuously strive to grow in that faith!
Look at how that same Peter – much later in his life and just before his death – expresses this truth to you and me
2 Peter 1:4-6 – …make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Take courage my friends. Since we have so many examples that have come before us, let us throw off everything that hinders and sin that entangles us so easily (Hebrews 12:1). Instead, let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, not being ignorant or prideful regarding our own faith, but trusting in His Word, for through His Word, and His Word only, we will rise or fall.
In His Name Only, majesty without end!