Read: Luke 22:55-62
Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet wilt I not deny thee (Matthew 26:35).
In The Caine Mutiny, Willie Keith said to May Wynn, “I’m a sort of pale Christian.” The description fits Peter when we remember his behavior that night in the courtyard of the high priest. The words of our text were brave words, and Peter meant them when he said them. But Peter did not know his own weakness, nor the treachery of an unsanctified heart. It was perhaps midnight when he made this earnest declaration of loyalty. Before the sun was up he had broken his promise, and failed his Lord. Where there had once been a fire of devotion, a saddened Peter now had only “the white cold ashes of moral defeat.” He went out and wept bitterly.
How many a man has found in this story the true mirror of his own spiritual failure? William McDonald, holiness pioneer and author of Scriptural Way of Holiness, testifies for many another: “I had been struggling to be holy from the night I was converted to God, and had been preserved from any willful departure from God… But I had tried a hundred times to be holy and failed every time. In his prayer he cried out” “I am very sorry, but oh, God, I have no confidence in the flesh or any of my efforts! I have tried and tried until my heart is sick. I know I will never be any better, nor do any better unless my heart is made better.”
It is well to weep over our failure. It is better when God reveals to us the cause. It is a rapturous joy when through the power of His Holy Spirit God enables us to live a life of victory.
With aching heart and spirit sore distressed, I came to Thee and Thou didst give me rest. Now, Lord, I pray and long with deep desire, To be made clean by Thy refining fire.*
— George. Bennard
*Copyright 1940, renewal, The Rodeheaver Co. Used by permission.