A manager at a company in Brazil requested a written report from the custodians in her building. Each day she wanted to know who cleaned each room, which rooms were left untouched, and how much time employees spent in each room. The first “daily” report arrived a week later, partially completed.
When the manager looked into the matter, she discovered most of the cleaning employees couldn’t read. She could have fired them, but instead she arranged for them to have literacy lessons. Within five months, everyone was reading at a basic level and continued in their jobs.
God often uses our struggles as opportunities to equip us to continue working for Him. Peter’s life was marked by inexperience and mistakes. His faith faltered as he tried to walk on water. He wasn’t sure if Jesus should pay the temple tax (Matthew 17:24–27). He even rejected Christ’s prophecy about the crucifixion and resurrection (16:21–23). Through each issue Jesus taught Peter more about who He was—the promised Messiah (v. 16). Peter listened and learned what he needed to know to help found the early church (v. 18).
If you’re discouraged by some failure today, remember that Jesus may use it to teach you and lead you forward in your service for Him. He continued to work with Peter despite his shortcomings, and He can use us to continue to build His kingdom until He returns.
How has God used challenges in your life to lead and equip you to serve Him? What past failure do you need to release to Him today?
Peter’s confession that Jesus is “the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16) is a critical turning point in Christ’s life, for “from that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things” and “be killed and on the third day be raised to life” (v. 21). Before this, Jesus spoke cryptically of His death and resurrection (12:40; John 2:19; 3:14; 6:51), but afterward He “spoke plainly” about it (Mark 8:32). Jesus referred to Himself as “the Son of Man” (Matthew 16:27–28), a Messianic title used often in connection with His humiliation and suffering (Daniel 7:13–14; Matthew 20:18; 26:2, 64).