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Peter went through a lot before he became a pillar of the early Christian church. He struggled against his carnal human nature and personal weaknesses, as he gradually grew in character, and knowledge. Some of those struggles are recorded as an example and encouragement for us today.
Remember when Peter walked on water, if for only a few moments? Think about this: Physically speaking, what are the chances that a human being could walk on water?
The laws of physics prohibit such an event. Yet our Creator God miraculously allowed Peter to walk on water, as long as he kept his eyes and focus on Jesus the Savior, the very Son of God. Peter became more closely attached to His Master through this miracle. This is also God's will for us. God wants each of us to develop a close relationship with Him.
This illustration shows us how important faith is in our lives. Christ said that if someone had enough faith he could move mountains (Matthew 17:20). James tells us that faith without works is dead (James 2:26). Peter stepped out of his boat in faith. But his faith shriveled as he witnessed the power of the elements surrounding him. God wants us to look to Him for strength, peace and security. His design for us is to exercise living, dynamic faith, the kind of faith exhibited by Jesus Himself.
It's easy to look at Peter's rambunctious reactions and assume we wouldn't act as Peter did. We probably see ourselves as more reserved, more in control.
But if that's true it's a moot point. Consider that God used Peter's audacity to get things done. Jesus didn't have to light a fire under him. The fire, the fortitude, the verve was there. What Peter needed was exactly what Christ patiently taught him: how to govern himself and look to God for direction and help so he could be remade in God's spiritual image (Ephesians 4:22-24; Genesis 1:26).
Later Peter would help lead the way in spreading the gospel of the Kingdom to the world, enabling others likewise to see the need to surrender to God and become converted.
The Good News magazine (Sep-Oct 2000)