Jurong Outreach

"whom we proclaim, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ."


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A Hero of Faith, Simon Peter

How do we define a hero? A person who appears at the right time to do an extraordinary thing, like the ones who appeared in fairy tales? Must heroes be brave people who save others in times of trouble? To me, Simon Peter of the Bible is a hero but he is always seen as a very rash person.

We can see from John 18:10 that he was very angry with the servant of the high priest for arresting Jesus, so he cut off his ear with a sword. He would always try to defend Jesus, always first to answer any question and first to rebuke others. He was also one who made several mistakes in life as an apostle.

In Mat 14:25-31, Jesus was walking on the sea one night. The disciples saw Him and thought that they had seen a spirit. But Jesus assured them that it was Him whom they saw. Peter, as usual being a rash person, was the first to suggest to Jesus that he would like to walk on the water toward Jesus. He stepped out of the boat and started walking. He was doing fine at the beginning. But later, when he saw the storm and waves of the sea, he was frightened and he started to sink so he cried out for help. He failed. He did not finish his walk on the sea. He was so confident that he could walk on the sea initially. But after meeting with the dangers around him, he fell. But did he give up after that? I suppose he didn’t because we can continue reading from the Bible about Peter’s walk with Jesus.

In Matthew 26:34-35, Jesus told Peter that he would deny Jesus three times before the rooster crowed. But Peter confidently said that he would never do such a thing as to deny Jesus. He was very sure of himself and so enthusiastic in answering back. But he failed again. Indeed, he denied Jesus three times. In Mat 26:75, Peter realized that what Jesus said was true. He was very sad when he realized his own mistake after the rooster crowed for the third time. Did he give up his faith because of that? Did he think he was imperfect because he let Jesus down and therefore no longer fit to serve Him and had to leave Jesus?

No indeed!

On the day of Pentecost, Peter taught the crowd boldly about Jesus whom the people crucified. He led the people the way to the kingdom of God which door he opened as promised by Christ (Matt 16:19). On that day, three thousand souls were baptized for the remission of sins. Peter did not give up. He pulled himself together and did great things for God.

We as Christian do meet with failures too. Just like Peter who was challenged by the waves of the sea, we can be challenged by the failures in life. We sometimes set out to do something for God, but we failed. We tried to do righteous things but sometimes we are defeated by Satan. Are we to give up doing what God wants us to do because we fail and we are too ashamed to continue? Below are some of the things that may dampen our spirits, as Christians, and cause us to give up doing what is right.

Rejection by members

We want to treat everyone as nicely as possible. But sometimes, the same is not reciprocated to us. We wonder why it is that while we are friendly to all yet people have to treat us in a nasty way in return. We do not understand and we start to doubt whether what we are doing is right. Yes, people may reject us, but God does not. He is always there for us. He has promised the crown of life to those who are faithful and those who do His will (Rev 2:10). As long as we carry out His will, we can be assured that we are doing the right things even though the results may not be what we expected.

Peter is a hero to me. Although he did not do something great and mighty like the heroes we read from fairy tales, but he was one who did not bow to failures. Failures made him stronger and want to do more. He failed and he stood up again. He was rash but he wasn’t discouraged. Should we also learn from this hero that we are imperfect people and we need to strengthen ourselves in all aspects?

Unaccomplished tasks

Sometimes we plan to do something good. We help in certain committees because we want to serve God. But we could not complete the task given to us due to various reasons. Or it could be that we did not do it as well as we expected. So we are discouraged by the fact that we have not done our best for God.

Criticisms from people

Sometimes, we try to do our best to help, but we get scolded or criticized by people. We feel like as though we are maligned for doing something wrong. The solution is that if we are truly affected by the criticism, clarify with the person who made those remarks and think about whether the criticisms are true. If they are true, then we can think about how we can improve ourselves so that next time, we can serve the Lord better. Whether the criticism is brought forward to us in a tactful way or not, is not really that important (Pro 9:8-9).

Of course, there are many other factors that will deceive us into thinking that we are failures. But the point that I want to point out is that failures can serve as stepping stones to success. Even an apostle like Peter made mistakes. Most importantly, the danger is not about making mistakes, but rather the great danger is when we cannot come to terms with failures and we fall away because of that.

Peter is a hero to me. Although he did not do something great and mighty like the heroes we read from fairy tales, but he was one who did not bow to failures. Failures made him stronger and want to do more. He failed and he stood up again. He was rash but he wasn’t discouraged. Should we also learn from this hero that we are imperfect people and we need to strengthen ourselves in all aspects?