Have you ever felt like telling God to change His mind about something? Have you ever prayed that He would start to see things your way? If we’re honest, each of us have had moments where we question God’s perspective and plans.
Peter had one such moment in Mark 8:32-33, directly after Jesus speaks about His death to the disciples: “And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
Why was Jesus so harsh with Peter? We don’t see any blatant sin in Peter’s life. Jesus isn’t rebuking him for drinking too much, or lying, or stealing. Instead, Jesus’s reason for such a harsh correction was, “You are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” We see that our perspective is extremely important to God. While the disciples wanted Jesus to take over the earthly government—to overthrow Rome—God’s plan was for an eternal kingdom and a lasting salvation.
Sometimes, it’s hard to trust that God’s plans and perspective are better. We think we can see the end goal so clearly; but God’s ways are always better! What’s fascinating is that, despite Peter’s mistake, he remained in the top three disciples. Just a few verses after this, in Mark 9, he is one of the only people to ascend the Mount of Transfiguration and see Jesus transformed before his eyes. Jesus gave the people around him space to make mistakes—to grow; we must learn to do the same. As bad as Peter’s mistake was, Peter was still the apostle who preached on the Day of Pentecost, leading to three thousand people being saved.
Jesus will protect us and grow us even when we fall short and don’t measure up. The disciples failed, but God kept them in Him. We’ll mess up, get it wrong, and misjudge God’s ways at times; but He still loves us! This is a God we can trust, even when we don’t understand what He’s doing. Take a few moments today to surrender your plans and ways to Him, and to thank Him for His love and grace!
Dr. Derek Grier