“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.” Luke 22:31-32 NLT
If Jesus said to me, “Brad, Brad, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail.” I would be thinking, “Jesus, I don’t want to be sifted. Stop Satan from this sifting stuff. I have been sifted too many times already.” Jesus makes no offer to help; only that Simon’s faith may not fail and then when he has turned back he can strengthen his brothers.
Many of us have been beaten up by the world and the schemes of the devil. We have been beaten up so much that we can start believing lies that we aren’t good enough, that we have to pass more tests – that we will never get past the next test because we have failed this one so many times. The Lord impressed this thought upon me:
“It isn’t about passing the test; it is about staying in the faith whether you have passed the test or not.”
We beat ourselves up when we fail. We look lustfully at a person and beat ourselves up the rest of the day and make everyone else miserable. We can’t stop an addiction and we think God will never forgive us, so we give up trying. Our kids aren’t turning out as we planned and we think that we have done something wrong. We keep being passed over for a promotion and we feel that we are not faithful enough in Gods eyes to get the blessing to move forward.
STOP!!! Jesus could stop all the chaos in your life right now, but here is why He will not: Jesus loves you. He loves you enough to allow you to be refined. We can only be refined when trials come. It isn’t if we fail, it is when. It isn’t just one time, but thousands of times we fail. We have some weird notion that we need to be perfect to enter the kingdom of heaven.
“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” Romans 3:23 NLT
We will sin until God calls us home. The most important statement that Jesus says to Simon (Peter) is, “That your faith may not fail.”
Are you getting close to giving up on this Christianity thing? Are things not turning out as you have planned? Satan wants you to give up. We are not on this earth for long. PLEASE hang in there. God loves you and desires that your faith will not waiver even though your circumstances may tell a different story.
Just remember your circumstances do not dictate the way you are living your Christian life. You may be failing in every category, but that doesn’t mean that God will not reveal to you something miraculous out of the pain and defeat. Believe in Jesus who desires that you find strength in the storms of life so that your faith will be refined. Don’t let the evil one give you a lifeline to an easy way out. That lifeline may seem an easy way out now, but you will regret it. Just keep hanging on everyone. Jesus WILL save YOU.
Copyright Brad Henry. Used by permission.