Today’s Scripture: And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. Luke 22:31-32
Just hours before Jesus would be hung on a cross to suffer for the sins of all mankind, He told Simon Peter that Satan wanted to sift Peter like wheat. This idea of sifting carries with it the idea of a violent shaking. Peter would be facing a massive test. It would seem logical to our human minds that Jesus would have said, “Simon, Satan has desired to have you so he can sift you, but I told him no.”
What Jesus said should encourage all of us: “But I have prayed for thee…” You see, in the statement “Satan hath desired to have you…”, the ‘you’ is plural. It does not just refer to Peter. While Satan cannot have the souls of those who have placed their trust in Christ, he can take away our effectiveness for God. Sifting is not going to be easy; most of the time it will be hard, even painful.
God allows this sifting in our lives, even though He could say “no.” All disciples of Christ are going to be sifted. If our reliance is not on our Savior, we will not pass the test of sifting. We are not going to be effective as a servant or a soldier.
When we pass the test, there are going to be a lot of people who will benefit. When we get to Heaven, we’re going to be thankful that all of these things happened. Even though suffering is hard, we’re going to be left with something amazing that God can use to bless us and other people.
Christian, are you being “sifted”? Don’t quit – the Lord Jesus is praying for you.
Devotional by Jim Scudder Jr.