I’m often grateful that God included in Scripture people who transformed from weak to strong, from cowardly to bold.
If the Bible only included the stories of people such as Joseph, who never gave in to temptation or lost his faith (as recorded in Scripture), we might be left feeling inspired by such stories, but inadequate as well.
Instead, the Bible is filled with the stories of real people with significant faults.
Consider the emotional and outspoken Peter. As a disciple, he lacked a steadiness in his faith, sinking into the waves when he walked on the water (Matthew 14:24-31).
He didn’t seem to comprehend the deity of Jesus, equating him with Elijah and Moses on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-9).
He mimicked Jesus’ actions, but in so doing, drew from his own strength rather than God’s.
And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead. But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose. And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? – Mark 9:26-28
Several times, Peter even dared to talk back to Jesus.
Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples. – Matthew 26:34, 35
I share all this not to disparage Peter – whom I look forward to meeting in Heaven one day – but to show that there is hope for the rest of us, who are all “Peter-ish” at times.
You see, Peter the disciple became Peter the apostle. That Peter showed humility, faith, power, courage, and self-control.
He turned from lifelong beliefs, that he might bring the gospel to the Gentiles, not just the Jews (Acts 10).
He boldly preached the gospel, was cast into prison, and escaped with the help of angels (Acts 12).
His faith was so strong, and his indwelling by the Holy Spirit so complete, that he healed people who were touched only by his passing shadow. (Does that sound like anyone else in Scripture?)
Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. – Acts 5:15
Peter became a completely different person, so much more like Christ!
That transformation is possible for us as well. We share the same Savior. We have the same Holy Spirit living within us, and we have access to the same power and promises of God that Peter did.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. – 2 Corinthians 5:17
Have you ever felt “Peter-ish?” Have you seen God transform your weaknesses to strengths?