Faith Over Fear

By: Seth Primm | April 17

The servant girl at the door said to Peter, “You also are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.”

– John 18:17 ESV

As I opened the door, I saw his hand dart behind his back. “What do you have?” “Nuffing.” I suppressed my amusement and tried my best at a serious tone; “Did you get another cookie after I told you not to?” Wide-eyed and with a look of panic he shot back, “No.”

Jesus taught that “the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” (Luke 6:45) Truth or lies, faith or fear—it’s inevitable; your words reveal the state of your soul.

As He began to face the onslaught of questions and condemnations on the way to His formal trial and eventual execution, Jesus spoke from the heart. His message did not waver. He did not buckle under corrupt cultural pressure. His knee would not bow to deadly, deceived authority. His word remained. “‘I have spoken openly to the world,’ Jesus replied. ‘I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret. Why question me? Ask those who heard me. Surely they know what I said.’” (John 18:20-21)

Nothing had changed. Sure, His circumstances had taken a turn for the worst, but truth remains the same. Jesus was who He said He was. There was no denying it. Even with the threat of severe consequences looming, He spoke the truth in love.

The same principle held true for Peter. As the questions of his association with Jesus threatened his safety, his mouth spoke what his heart was full of. Only instead of faith, Peter’s heart was filled with fear. He believed, but he still battled unbelief. So, when pressed—his life on the line—fear was what surfaced. His faith had not yet outgrown his fear.

1 John 4:18 says “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

As Everett stood there with a fist full of cookie behind his back, in that moment his fear of punishment was bigger than his faith in my love. He is slowly learning that I only want good for him, even if that means no more cookies right now. And when he fails to trust me and speaks or acts out of fear, conviction and discipline are invitations to deeper trust.

Eventually, Peter was made perfect in Jesus’ love, no longer denying his association to Jesus but preaching boldly and eventually dying a martyr’s death. May we increasingly let go of fear and embrace the love of God in Christ, that our mouths would speak from hearts full of faith.

Today’s Readings: John 18:13-14, 19-24; Matthew 26:57, 59-68; Mark 14:53, 55-65; Luke 22:54a, 63-65; Matthew 26:58, 69-75; Mark 14:54, 66-72; Luke 22:52b-62; John 18:15-18, 25-27

4 Comments

  1. Beth

    So true! Thanks Seth!

    Reply
    • Faith Fox

      Thanks for this reminder.

      Reply
  2. Michael Smith

    Great words Seth. Thanks for reminding us that faith can defeat fear.

    Reply
  3. Mariae

    Soo good!

    Nuffin is bigger than His love!!!

    Reply

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