We just finished our series in 1&2 Peter and one of the key themes throughout both books for Peter is his call to them to remain stable in the faith. In 2 Peter 3:17 he tells them outright “don’t lose your stability”! He tells us in 1 Peter 5:10 that it is Christ himself who will “establish you”, but then tells us to be sure we not lose our stability. Peter is concerned about this because he knows what its like to lose your stability.
Jesus told Peter he would lose his footing and deny him three times, but Peter insisted he wouldn’t do that. But Jesus merely encouraged him that after he fell and was restored he should “strengthen his brothers” (Lu. 22:31-32). Sure enough Peter failed. He lost his footing and stumbled because he was confident in himself. Pride will do it every time. So now we see Peter, in these two books, seeking to strengthen and establish the church. Teach and admonish them so they don’t “lose their stability”. This is critical to him. He knows what pride and self focus will do. He knows how devastating losing your stability can be. And he knows how easy it is to let your eyes look at the wrong things (think waves...) and start to sink
Have you ever been there? Losing your peace...feeling a bit of spiritual vertigo...off balance, or even feel like you’ve already fallen? No sense of confidence in your spiritual walk or questioning whether or not your even a Christian? Well...imagine what Peter must have felt like after he failed the Lord so miserably. Talk about losing your stability!! He probably felt like there was no hope for him. Yet here he is writing and encouraging God’s people to keep their bearings....stay stable. So how do you do that?
Well, Peter follows up this encouragement with this phrase “but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord...”. Bottom line...its all about grace. I know our tendencies are to try to figure out what we are doing wrong and do it better or try harder, but Peter’s answer is far more profound. Grow in grace. Go back to God’s finished work in your heart and make sure the ground you are standing on is stable. It’s not about you. It never has been. It’s all about God extending his grace to you in Christ Jesus. This is not just your starting point, but its your middle and your finish point. No grace, no peace. No grace, no stability. Stability is not keeping out of trouble or trying circumstances, it is standing in the right place. On the only foundation that can keep you stable...the grace of God in Christ Jesus. What tethered Peter to his ability to hold onto his stability in Christ? It’s the reality that Jesus said “I have prayed for you”. It was not Peter amazing strength to gut it out, it was grace. Jesus interceded for him. Grace!
Feel like your losing your stability? Failing? Giving in to your own ideas of how strong you should be (like Peter)? Just remember, you only have one hope anyway...grace! Not how you see yourself, but how He sees you...In Christ! This is your only stability.
Be established in Grace!