Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
In Mark 8:31-33 Jesus was telling His disciples (personal paraphrase), “Look, I will suffer many things. I will be rejected by pretty much all religious leaders. And then I will be killed. But three days later I will rise again.” As He shared openly with His disciples, Peter just couldn’t take it anymore. He pulls Jesus aside and the Bible says He reprimanded Jesus for saying such things!
Reprimand (Merriam-Websters)- To reprove sharply or censure formally, usually from a position of authority.
Now lets dig a little deeper and look at meaning for ‘reprove’.
Reprove- To scold or correct usually gently or with kindly intent; to express disapproval of.
As I’m reading this, I’m thinking Peter is pretty strong here in his tone with Jesus. Peter could not understand clearly why Jesus would be predicting His death. Peter’s actions and words were formed out of fear and genuine concern.
And then we read in verse 33 that Jesus in turn reprimands Peter!
Mark 8:33 (NLT)- Jesus turned around and looked at his disciples, then reprimanded Peter. “Get away from me, Satan!” he said. “You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.”
For the record, as I studied this verse, Bible scholars said that Peter wasn’t indwelt by Satan, but that Satan had certainly suggested His thoughts. (We’ll save this for another Bible Study!)
I want to read over Mark 8:33b again. “You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.”
I wonder how many times we do that? Something we’re going through is really hard, painful, hurtful, and/or uncomfortable. And instead of walking it out and seeking God through it, we rebuke it. Sometimes we don’t even bother talking to God about it and allow Him to show us some things through it- and we in turn are just like Peter. It hurts too much. It messes with my flesh.
I don’t know what you’re going through today, but I believe that God would say to some of us, “You are seeing things merely from a human point of view…”
Allow God to work through the difficult circumstances in your life. Just like Jesus was speaking about some things ahead that were going to be very painful, He knew that through those circumstances that God’s ultimate mission would be accomplished. And through your trials and struggles God will bring redemption and restoration. He sees the bigger picture. His ways are not our ways. He has a mission in our lives and it’s not always to walk around the pain, but yes, sometimes, through it. It’s not about understanding why, it’s really all about trusting even when we don’t understand.
Trust Him today. He’s got a mission; a plan. It might look differently than you expected, just as Peter couldn’t wrap his head around the things Jesus was saying. It looked very different than Peter thought and fear rose up. As you walk through this, don’t allow fear to take you away from where God’s grace can sustain you. Trust Him.
As we all know, His mission had so much more to do with just Peter and the disciples. Ultimately, His mission would change the world. And ultimately, what you’re going through isn’t just about you either. God’s mission and plan for your life- all the pain and the struggles- will, in the future, affect many others. Remember that dear ones, as you walk through these trials. Your pain is never wasted.
Lord, would you help us to take our eyes off of all the unknowns and refocus on You. Would You open our eyes to to understand Your Word so that we can see things through Your view. Help us to not just see things through our mere human understanding, but help us to see our situation through Your eyes. Your ways are higher than ours. I pray that these trials would only bring us closer to You, Lord. We do believe Lord, yet help us to overcome our unbelief. In Jesus name, amen.