David tells us in the psalms that it is God who makes wars to end and adds, “Be still and know that I am God…” (Psalm 46:10, NKJV). The Hebrew word for ‘still’ is raphah, which means to cease, let alone, become weak, feeble. It is from the root rapha, which means to mend and be made thoroughly whole by the hand of a physician.
How thoroughly consistent the Word of God is. He brings conflict to an end. Until he finishes his work, we are to stop our self-righteous efforts, trust everything into his hands, confess our weaknesses and trust our future restoration into the hands of Christ, our great physician.
Is your inner conflict tearing you apart? You may be buffeted by Satan, but he cannot hurt or destroy you. Most likely you are being refined in preparation for a deeper understanding of the cross of Christ so you can be made ready for greater service.
Peter was stripped of everything before going to Pentecost. We see this great man of God at rock bottom, wandering aimlessly over the Judean hills. Peter had walked on water and participated in the miraculous feeding of multitudes! He was a blessed, prominent, useful, Christ-loved servant. Nonetheless, he sinned grievously, failing the Lord as few others did. Afterward he wept and grieved, thinking he had lost his salvation and his ministry.
“What is wrong with me?” he must have asked himself over and over. “Why did I have no power or strength when tempted? Why no moral reserves, no will to resist the enemy? How could a man of God do such a horrendous thing to his Lord? How could I have preached to others when I have no power in a crisis?”
God did not cause Peter’s failure, but great good came out of it. In his mercy, God allowed it to reveal what was rooted deep in the inner man. Only failure could expose the pride and self-sufficiency. It revealed to him his need for absolute dependence on his Lord for everything, including his purity and righteousness.
It is through this personal understanding of Jesus’ utter sacrifice for us on the cross that we endure our greatest temptation and failures and then break through to resurrection.