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Sifted Like Wheat
"Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers." Luke 22:31-32
I have always had a little irritation with Peter. While I admire His bold rashness, I am often left shaking my head because of the things he says or does without thinking. He is impulsive and impetuous, and I am probably irritated because I am so much like him. I've always thought that this matter of denying Jesus was ridiculous because he was Jesus' right hand man. And to boot, Jesus had already told him what would happen. And yet Peter still didn't recognize it when it was happening.
Jesus told him that Satan had requested to test him, and he would indeed be tested. Yet, Jesus prayed for Peter that his faith wouldn't fail. At first glance, I feel as if his faith did fail. Wouldn't denying knowing Jesus constitute unbelief? The same guy who declared that Jesus was the Son of God a few pages earlier came to a place in his life when he completely turned his back on Jesus . Yet, when we hear the rooster crow and the curtain closes on the scene, we do see heartbreak and conviction. We see Peter grieving over his rejection of Jesus.
Sisters, hear this—those of us who love God will stumble. This is not optional. Even a great amount of faith will not make us perfect. Ephesians tells us that even our faith is given to us by God (Ephesians 2:8-9) . Our courage will fail. But it is the Lord who convicts and draws us to repentance, back into His arms.
We can feel ready. We can feel strong—strong enough to go to prison or die for Christ. But then, in our moments of weakness, we can let Him down. The thing is, He sees our desires. Jesus knew that Peter didn't stop loving Him. He knew that Peter's fears overtook his courage. He sees us too. He knows that there will be times that we just cave to fear. But He sees our hearts, and He knows that we love Him . He knows that we want to do the right thing. And maybe even when we don't want to, and that bothers us, He knows that we want to want to. Be honest with Him about where you are. Admit that you have failed. Admit that you can't live this life without His help. He is near to the humble (James 4:6).
It won't be long before Peter is doing just what Jesus said, encouraging his brothers by his story. We too can use our mistakes to lift others up. Let's not be discouraged by the times when we fall. Instead, let's allow them to draw us nearer to our Savior and make His Name known.
Let's be honest about where we are today. Admit it if we have failed. Admit that we cannot live this life without God's help. And remember, He is near to the humble (James 4:6).
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