Daily Words of God: Entry Into Life | Excerpt 531
As soon as Peter is mentioned, everybody is full of praise, instantly reminded of all these stories about Peter—how he thrice denied knowing God and moreover rendered service unto Satan, thereby testing God, but in the end was nailed upside down on the cross for His sake, and so on. Now I place great importance on narrating for you how Peter came to know Me as well as his final outcome. This man Peter was of excellent caliber, but his circumstances were different from those of Paul. His parents persecuted Me, they belonged to demons possessed by Satan, and for this reason one cannot say that they transmitted the way to Peter. Peter was agile of wit, endowed with native intelligence, doted on from boyhood by his parents; after growing up, however, he became their enemy, for he always sought to know Me, and this led him to turn his back on his parents. This was because, first of all, he believed that the heavens and earth and all things are in the hands of the Almighty, and that all positive things originate from God and come directly from Him, without passing through any processing by Satan. With the counterexample of his parents to serve as a foil, this enabled him all the more readily to recognize My love and mercy, thereby inflaming in him an even greater passion to seek after Me. He paid close attention not only to eating and drinking My words, but even more to grasping My intentions, and was constantly prudent and cautious in his thoughts, so that he was always keenly astute in his spirit, and hence was able to please Me in everything he did. In ordinary life, he paid close attention to integrating into his own life the lessons of those who had failed in the past so as to spur himself on to greater endeavor, deeply afraid that he might fall into the nets of failure. He also paid close attention to assimilating the faith and love of all those who through the ages had loved God. In this way he not only in negative aspects, but much more importantly, in positive aspects sped up the progress of his growth, until he became in My presence the one human being who knew Me best. For this reason, it is not difficult to imagine how he could place all that he had in My hands, no longer being his own master even in eating, dressing, sleeping, or where he stayed, but made satisfying Me in all things the foundation on which he enjoyed My bounty. So many times did I put him under trial, which of course left him half dead, but even in the midst of these hundreds of trials, he never once lost faith in Me or became disillusioned with Me. Even when I said I had already thrown him aside, he did not grow faint of heart or fall into despair, but continued as before to carry out his principles so as to realize his love for Me. When I told him that, even though he loved Me, I did not commend him but would cast him into Satan’s hands in the end. In the midst of these trials, which did not reach unto his flesh but were trials by means of words, he still prayed to Me: Oh, God! Among the heavens and earth and the myriad things, is there any man, any creature, or any thing that is not in the hands of You, the Almighty? When You wish to show me mercy, my heart rejoices greatly on account of Your mercy; when You wish to pass judgment on me, unworthy though I may be, I feel all the more the profound mystery of Your deeds, because You are filled with authority and wisdom. Though my flesh may suffer, I am comforted in my spirit. How could I not extol Your wisdom and Your deeds? Even if I die after coming to know You, I would be ever ready and willing. Oh, Almighty One! Surely it is not that You truly do not wish to let me see You? Surely it is not that I am truly unworthy of receiving Your judgment? Can it possibly be that there is something in me that You do not wish to see? In the midst of these kinds of trials, even though Peter was not able to grasp My intentions accurately, it is evident that he considered it a matter of pride and personal glory to be used by Me (be it only to receive My judgment so that humanity might see My majesty and wrath), and was anything but dejected on account of being put under trial. Because of his loyalty in My presence, and because of My blessings upon him, he has become an exemplar and a model for mankind for thousands of years. Is this not precisely the example that you should follow? At this time, you should think hard and try to work out why I have given such a lengthy account of Peter. This should serve you as a code of conduct.
Peter’s Attitude Toward Trials
Peter suffered trials, countless trials by God in his life. These tests would leave him half-dead, but his faith would never decline. Even when God said He would not praise him, and to Satan he would fall, and said He had forsaken him, he was not discouraged at all. He continued to love God in a practical way, in accordance with past principles; he continued to pray. Amid such trials, not of flesh, but of words, Peter still prayed to God.
“Oh, God, the Almighty, among heaven, earth and all things, in Your hands You hold all the creatures and all human beings. When You are merciful, my heart rejoices with Your mercy. When You judge me, unworthy though I may be, I gain a greater sense of Your unfathomable deeds, because You are filled with wisdom and authority. Though my flesh suffers, I am comforted in my soul. How could I not give praise to Your wisdom and deeds? Even if I were to die after knowing You, how could I not do that happily?”
During such trials, Peter couldn’t fully grasp God’s will, yet he was proud and he was honored to be used by Him still. Because of his loyalty, and because of God’s blessing, he has been a model to man for thousands of years. Isn’t this precisely what you should mirror? Think about why God gave such a lengthy account of Peter. These should be the principles of your behavior.
from Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs