“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.”
I’m thinking about failure; it is something that I am really, really good at. In my almost 56 years I just realized that I’ve experienced more weak moments then strong. I have easily failed more than I have succeeded. I am embarrassed by this. I have figured that I’ve sinned, and failed more as a Christian, than I ever did as a pagan sinner. And things show little sign of improving.
Simon Peter is about to undergo a trial so intense and difficult, that unless Jesus intervenes it will probably destroy Peter.
The only other blatant attack where Satan seeks permission is in the life of Job. It is reasonable to believe that the forces of hell are concentrated on Peter.
You and I undergo some of this onslaught ourselves. We go through periods of intense trial. Everything just falls apart, and we lose hope. I’ve had several periods like that, a tornado from hell bears down upon my life.
There is remarkably good news in this.
- First, Jesus is praying for me to endure. He is the faithful intercessor for my soul.
- Second, He gives us a modicum of understanding by warning us of the approaching storm. Peter is told ahead of time of what was going to happen.
- Third, the wheat will be sifted. Sifting or the harrowing of the grain is a good and godly activity. It is a good thing, as it builds your faith.
- Four, you will survive to strengthen your brothers and sisters.
All pain and failure gives us a mandate to serve others. Our weakness gives us a spiritual license to become a shepherd of mercy and hope. (You could say that you are now a licensed minister.) We can ask for nothing more; it is a good and profound work.
In love’s work, only the wounded can truly serve.