It is a reality in life that everyone faces various types of circumstances and plans and decisions evolve as to how these should be handled. Sometimes unfortunately, rash and impetuous plans are executed without sufficient prior thought, and for the believer, before seeking divine wisdom. Out of such mental or emotional processes come insecurity, doubt and confusion.
The writer of the longest Psalm suggested a better way when facing difficulty… “I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes” (Ps 119:59 NIV). He concluded … “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path” (Ps 119:105 NIV). Divine wisdom gained from knowledge of the Word of God produced confidence and stability in his soul. He had learned to trust in the Living God, for at one point in his life he admitted that … “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees” (Ps 119:71 NIV). What he had learned could now be applied, because … “the law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold” (Ps 119:72 NIV).
The Apostle Paul would state with confidence … “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Rom 8:28 NIV). The Christian who has a daily walk with the Lord can claim this promise and rest in the truth that in all the circumstances of life, God is at work for their good. That removes the urge for impetuousness, of emotional reaction, of having a sense of despair or worry over the unknown, and instead, permits the believer to respond from divine wisdom to that which God in grace has allowed to come into their lives. Learning to trust in God’s plan over our own requires a consistency of maintaining fellowship with the Lord and living in His Word. No one is immune from God’s procedure for seeing life from a divine perspective.
Peter, that impetuous disciple had the privilege of hearing His Lord teach for over three years. Growing up, no doubt he had heard the prophetic message of the prophet Isaiah which foretold of the suffering Servant that … “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isa 53:3-5 NIV). The prophet continued … “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth” (Isa 53:7 NIV).
Even Jesus had repeatedly, informed his disciples that His mission was to go to the Cross and pay the sin debt of humanity. Without His substitutionary death on the Cross on behalf of sinful mankind, no one could be reconciled to God and have the forgiveness of sin. That was God’s plan but not Peter’s, for soon thereafter … “the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. With that, one of Jesus' companions (Peter) reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear... "Put your sword back in its place," Jesus said to him … how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?" ( Matt 26:50-52, 54 NIV). Years later, in his letter to persecuted believers, the once impetuous Peter, now seasoned in the Word, would write … “So then, those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good” (1 Peter 4:19 NIV).