Tuesday: Confidence and Doubt

What was wrong with Peter’s attitude before the Cross? Matt. 26:31-35.

Image © Rolf Jansson from GoodSalt.com

Image © Rolf Jansson from GoodSalt.com

Peter was no match for the wiles of the evil one. He attempted to face Satan’s temptations in His own strength. Filled with a sense of self-inflated confidence, he had little idea of the crisis that was coming. In the courtyard of the high priest and trembling at the sound of a servant girl’s questioning, Peter denied His Lord (Matt. 26:69-75). Jesus had warned Peter earlier, “‘Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren’” (Luke 22:31-32, NKJV). Jesus’ statement provides a fascinating analysis of Peter’s spiritual condition. Trusting in his own strength, Peter drifted from his Lord. This is why Jesus used the expression, “when you have returned to me.” Peter needed a spiritual awakening. He needed a change of attitude. He needed reformation.

Read John 20:24-29. What does this passage reveal about Thomas? What lessons can we take from this for ourselves?

Both Peter and Thomas had one striking feature in common. They approached faith from a very human perspective. Peter placed confidence in what he could do, Thomas in what he could see. They depended on their faulty human judgment. But Pentecost made a difference. A transformed Peter fearlessly preached, and three thousand were baptized on Pentecost (Acts 2:41). Peter realized that he certainly had no strength to heal a lame man, but Jesus had that power and a miracle took place(Acts 3:2-9). When the authorities attempted to silence his voice, Peter proclaimed, “‘For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard’” (Acts 4:20, NKJV). Peter was a changed man. Thomas was changed also. It is believed that he sailed to India to preach the gospel. Though not much more is said about him, we can be sure that he had become a new man after Pentecost, as well.

Who are you more like in temperament, Peter or Thomas? What can you learn from their experiences so that you don’t make similar mistakes?



Tuesday: Confidence and Doubt — 17 Comments

  1. I happened to read this lesson in a very unplanned way but happened to realize that I am a victim of the wrongly focused confidence and doubts when it come to things that goes beyond my mortal ability.

    How many times do I find myself scared by devil's servants in the courtyard of my life.Just like Peter to prove myself that I need a higher authority?

    How many times do I let social and spiritual opportunities go just because I am full of doubts than Thomas. Don't I need mercy. Dear Lord have mercy and revive me. Amen

    • Edison, I feel the same way that you do. Sometimes when I want something so bad, I am asking myself how can I get it instead of saying, "God is this for me". What I gather from this lesson is that we must constantly walk in the spirit not carnal. Thank you for your post.

  2. It seems to me that self-reliance is the special temptation of "good" people -- the ones who have lived good moral lives and have not sinned in any "big" way. It may be more difficult for them to respond to the call for repentance than it is for those who know they are sinners.

    Yet no matter how moral our lives have been, we are all equally dependent on His grace. Those of us who have had more "light" are responsible for the use we make of it. (Luke 12:48)

  3. I know I have been like Peter and Thomas at different times in my life when I have given in to fear. Fear has been a big deal for me, but I have learned over the years about positive ways to utilize it. This particular emotion is real, but I can ask God to help me use it to remind me of my need of Him. Fear can remind me that I need God for everything and must depend on Him instead of myself or my senses.

    • Jackie, I, the same in my own, but, here are the words of God and I would like to share it with u and others; For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Pet. 1:7.
      May the LORD continue blessing each of us in our travel for this is not our home.
      See u all in heaven.

  4. As Christians and in our human perspective many are the times we rely on what we can do and see. We mostly lack the true faith to cast our confidence and doubt in Christ. We should realize like Peter and Thomas did and let Christ take control of our lives. In our own we cannot but with Christ we can move mountains

    I believe when we let Christ be the centre of everything that we do for Him we shall experience true and deeper revival and reformation.

    • Thanks Alfred, we can be easily deceived by good intention. I truely empathize with Peter; he was so enthuasied to honor God. But he was not equip to see the dangers ahead. I know many spiritual giants who have fallen because of PETER SYNDRONE. "When you think you are standing, be careful, less ye fall." I have two well-intention teens, I pray that the Holy Spirit will continuously abide in them and other youths. This is the only hope of survival and survival. Right no, I am encouraged to pray for all of you to keep the faith. How else can we avoid the mistake of Peter?

  5. Thanks for the powerful words Inge. Indeed your comments remind me of Nicodemus and many of the self righteous pharisees. Paul himself is a case in point as well when he was still Saul the pharisee. Yet both Nicodemus and Paul are in the minority of pharisees who realised their need of repentance and dependence on Christ. The repentance of the chief of sinners is needed for us all regardless of however sinful our lives have been. For all have sinned and fall short of God's glory. May we experience this repentance daily in a deeper and fuller sense and walk in dependence on our loving Lord.

  6. What a timely message. May the Lord work in us a confidence andvfaith that is built on faith in Him. The lesson reminded me of Paul's assurance that "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" and "my Lord will fulfill all my needs through his riches in glory".

  7. when I yearn for a tangible spiritual and social change in a community supposedly to be christian, how can I be sure that I have not the same attitude as Thomas had?

    • Having doubts about interacting with your community is not uncommon. Overcoming those doubts is a challenge. One must remember though that Thomas was not one to maintain his doubts and contact with Jesus, elicited the response, "I believe" and Thomas went on to become an effective witness.

      When we desire a change in the spirituality of our local community we need to remember that we are part of the community as well. We may need to change as much as our community. Sometimes our idea of revival is that everyone should be like me. In Thomas's case the change occurred in him first before he became a missionary changing the community.

    • Claude, I believe we often limit God's power in our lives by our lack of faith in it. For example, we underestimate and thus limit God's power when we stop praying for those we believe are "beyond redemption" or "hopelessly lost." Nothing and no one is beyond God's power to change. With Him, all things are possible (e.g., Mark 10:27).

  8. Many are the times that we exult our selves forgetting that we are nothing but clay in the potters hands and grass which is here today and tomorrow it withers. We need the intervention of the Lord in our lives for us to truly experience his power and grace.

  9. It is interesting how when the Bible wants to illustrate the weakness of a "strong man" it uses a woman. Strong Elijah after the Mt. Carmel experience ran away from the threat of a woman, strong Samson was felled by a woman and here strong Peter cowers in the shadow of a servant girl. Which goes back to Adam and Eve. Just an observation.

    • Ray, a while back I found it interesting that Proverbs 31 says a good woman is to be praised, but nowhere in the Bible does it say to praise men. I think your comment may have hit the nail on the head as to why that is. Typically women are more humble and often as mothers and even sisters and aunts will make great humble sacrifices for others which nobody ever hears about. I imagine in Bible times men were quite good at tooting their own horns, as Jesus referenced in the prayer of the tax collector and the pharisee, while women appeared in the Bible as more humble, in which case they could be real teachers to prideful men.

  10. To me I gets to understand that when we allow the spirit of God to lead and direct us we will have confidence in Him but if we rely only on our human nature then doubts comes in.so as christains we need to be in the spirit as to have confidence in God.

  11. As Christian of today, we should learn to lead a humble life & not pretend. also rely only upon God through the Bible as a guide throughout our daily living.


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