On the way [to the Mount of Olives], Jesus told [the apostles], "Tonight all of you will desert me. For the Scriptures say,
'God will strike the Shepherd,
and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.'
But after I have been raised from the dead, I will go ahead of you to Galilee and meet you there."
Peter declared, "Even if everyone else deserts you, I will never desert you."
Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, Peter — this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me."
"No!" Peter insisted. "Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!" And all the other disciples vowed the same.
— Matthew 26:31-35 NLT
It is not difficult to confess Jesus as Lord and pledge our allegiance to him when we are around church people in church settings doing church things. But loyalty is a little more difficult to come by when the world around us is antagonistic and hostile. Our intentions and commitments may be clothed in valor, but in the face of cruel opposition, commitment of any kind may be hard to find. Such is the way of fickle humans. Such is the way sometimes for me, I am ashamed to admit.
Just as Jesus had warned, Peter's resolve melts under pressure, hostility, and misunderstanding. Would mine? When the true test comes, Peter denies him, Judas betrays him, and all the other apostles forsake him and run away in fear. Would I do the same?
Holy God, I don't want to be a Judas or a Peter and betray or abandon Jesus under pressure. I need your help, Father, to be the person you want me to be. Please empower me to be bold in declaring my faith in Jesus and my allegiance to you, whatever the circumstances. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.