“And the Lord said, ‘Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”
What an incredible picture of Satan and Jesus petitioning the Father for the same man! One with a malicious desire to destroy him, the other standing as his Intercessor. The request to sift Peter as wheat is unparalleled in the New Testament; his adversary literally asked to shred him. In this instance, Satan was laser-focused on Peter, but the original Greek wording makes it clear that his intentions extend to all believers. Yet, treacherous and devious as the devil is, Jesus’ revelation exposes the limitations of our enemy’s power. He has to ask! And even when permission is granted, Jesus is there interceding on our behalf.
Jesus knew exactly where Peter’s cowardice would take him, how it would result in a public failure recorded by all four gospels. But equally true is that his Savior brought him through one of the worst situations in his life, certain of his restoration. The Lord never intended Peter to remain under the weight of condemnation by allowing failure to hold him back. The same is true for you when you falter. Don’t allow the deceiver to take hold of your thoughts and render you ineffective for the kingdom. Get up, retrace your steps back to your first love, and return with renewed purpose. Whenever you go through deep waters or fiery trials, your understanding of God’s goodness and mercy moves beyond head knowledge into real-life experience, and He wants you to use it. Jesus’ exhortation to His disciple was, “Peter, after you have learned what you need to learn for both you and your fellow believers, use it always to encourage them.”
What is your story? Will you use it to the glory of God? Christian, you have to live it to tell it!
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4.
– Pastor Jack
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