Links Daily Devotional

Certain of Another

Peter declared, “Even if all fall away, I will not.” (Mark 14:29, NIV)

Oh, Peter! If only you could have seen to the other side, our brother, surely you would not have been so cocky, surely you would not have been so certain.

It is one thing, of course, to say that humility may be the prevailing trait required of a man or woman of God. It is in humility that we confess our sins, like the breast-beating tax collector of Jesus’ parable in Luke 19. It is in humility that we receive and exercise our gifts as members of the body of Christ, not that we would be exalted but that our Lord’s glory would be made visible among us. And it is those who are humble that God favors, that he lifts up (James 4:10).

But it is another thing altogether to exercise humility when it comes time to lay our plans. We want to walk confidently, with the air of a winner. We want to show that we’ve got what it takes.

And then we play golf.

Maybe Peter should have been a golfer. Maybe then he would have remembered just how hard it is to not fall away. Nearly every tour leaderboard is riddled with those who have fallen away, who held the lead on Thursday or pushed toward victory on Sunday with a streak of beautiful birdies. Then comes the fall, the anguish, the thin smile of one finishing without the trophy.

One can attain a measure of certainty only if one dares to do little. Can I scramble my morning egg? Yes, sir! Can I back out of my garage and into my quiet residential street? Oh, yeah! Can I find my favorite station on the radio and set the volume correctly? You bet I can! But these are not accomplishments, they’re simplicities, trivialities.

When it comes to the truly meaningful, we can make no stronger guarantee than the tour professional who is hitting it “better than ever.” That is, we’ve been given some skills and we’re feeling confident—but any number of unforeseen circumstances lie ahead. Who knows where we’ll stand at the end of the day?

The lesson of Peter is the most important lesson a person can ever learn. It goes like this: Everything I thought I was, I proved not to be. Everything I want in life, I can only attain in another.

Certainty in life—and in death—comes only in the work of Jesus Christ. Understanding this is humility of mind. Living it out, with words of deference and a heart surrendered, is humility of spirit. It is in this humility of spirit that we find the confidence we thought we had to muster up for ourselves, for in it we see and trust the work of God in us. We silence the bluster and mute the bling. Then, through us, amazingly, the Lord’s shout is raised and his light shines. This is the victory we really want, the one of which we can be sure.

Jeff Hopper
August 13, 2015
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The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at www.linksplayers.com.