Sometimes we claim labels for ourselves that make us feel stuck, unchangeable, hopeless. But in our rocky times, Christ has a chisel… and he reshapes us by grace. Read Peter’s example in this excerpt from Lysa TerKeurst’s book Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions.
Instead of condemning myself with statements like, I’m such a mess, I could say, Let God chisel. Let Him work on my hard places so I can leave the dark places of being stuck and come into the light of who He designed me to be. God is calling us out — out of darkness, out from those places we thought would never get better, out of being stuck.
The name Peter means “the rock,” but Peter’s given name was Simon, which means “shifty.” I can’t escape the richness of meaning here that Peter “the rock” didn’t get stuck being shifty his whole life. He let God chisel. Remember, Peter was the one who dared to jump out of the boat and walk on water. Then he got afraid, started to sink, and cried out to the Lord to save him. In a matter of moments, he went from being bold to being scolded for his doubt (Matthew 14:22–32).
Peter was also the man who loved his Lord with such passion that he drew his sword and cut off the ear of the guard trying to arrest Jesus (John 18:10). Then, just seven short verses later, we find this same Peter denying he even knew Jesus [John 18:17]…
He sure sounds shifty to me.
But not to Jesus. Jesus saw a courageous man who needed chiseling. Jesus saw a man who, when chiseled, would boldly do what others would not. Jesus saw Peter not as he was but as he could be. Tenderly, Jesus chiseled. After Peter denied Jesus, and Jesus was crucified and resurrected, Peter and Jesus had a conversation in which we get to see Jesus chiseling. Three times Peter denied Jesus. Three times Jesus asked if Peter loved Him. I can almost hear the Master’s chisel clink and chip and smooth [John 21:15-17]…
Later, in Acts, we see evidence of the chiseled Peter. He’s bold, assured, prepared to do the work the Master created him to do:
Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say.” … With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. (Acts 2:14, 40-41)
He doesn’t sound like shifty Simon to me anymore. He is Peter, chiseled Peter, whose bold preaching led three thousand people to dedicate their lives to Christ and be baptized — in one day! …
Oh that we might hear the purposeful clink of the Master’s chisel and call it grace:
[For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. -Ephesians 2:8–10]
Is it true? Will I see grace and feel grace and call it grace when I come unglued? Even when, like Peter, I deny Christ with my actions? … Will I embrace the grace by which I’ve been saved through faith — choose to see myself as God’s workmanship — and do the good work I’ve been called to?
-From Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst (@LysaTerKeurst)
Learn more about Lysa TerKeurst’s new book Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions.
(Some styling in this post is a blog-exclusive feature not included in the text of the featured product.)