3/25 Luke 22:33-34

33 Peter said to him, "Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death." 34 Jesus said, "I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me."

This is an illustration of man's certainty meeting reality. Peter was so sure that even if all others denied Jesus, he would follow Him. But when Jesus told Peter to put away his sword, Peter saw that following cost more than he was willing to pay. He said he was ready to go to prison and even death, but he didn't really know his own heart.

Jesus' certainty, on the other hand, is reality. He knows our hearts better than we know our own, and yet He loves us still. Jesus knew Peter would deny Him, but I also believe He knew of the remorse that would fill Peter's heart. We cannot make ourselves strong by our own will power and determination, but God can, by His gentle and merciful love. It is His love that empowers us to go where we would never have gone before.

Each of us has an opinion of where we are in our walk with the Lord, but then along comes reality. Our failures serve to open our eyes to our weaknesses and drive us to humbly kneel before our Savior and confess, "I can't." Then we meet the love and forgiveness that enables us to do what we know we cannot do. Faith in a power greater than our own empowers us to rise above our limitations and walk in victory over our weaknesses. It is a painful road. It is a glorious road as well.

Consider: We can never be sure how we will react to a situation until we face it. But we can learn the habit of always looking to the Lord for His leading rather than relying on our own strength.