Peter: Sifted for Service

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The Scriptures tell us that the Lord will sometimes allow us to be “sifted” for greater service. In other words, He may give Satan permission to affect an area of our lives.

Luke 22:31-34

Have you ever experienced a situation that seemed impossible to endure? Years later, as you looked back, did you realize how that trial prepared you for things to come?

The Scriptures tell us that the Lord will sometimes allow us to be “sifted” for greater service. In other words, He may give Satan permission to affect an area of our lives. God does this to strengthen our faith and transform us into stronger witnesses for Him.

In today’s passage from the gospel of Luke, Jesus explains this process to Peter: “Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:31-32).

Christ knew what was about to happen over the next few days—He would die on the cross, return to life, and then ascend to heaven. He expected Peter to be the leader of His disciples and to accomplish great things for the kingdom. But Peter wasn’t ready.

So the Lord allowed Satan to “sift” Peter. In so doing, God separated the “wheat” from the “chaff”—the righteous areas of the disciple’s life from the ungodly areas. Ultimately, Peter grew stronger from the experience, went on to play a key role in spreading the gospel following Christ’s death, and in the end died because of His bold faith.

Had God not allowed this time of sifting, Peter would not have been ready for the events to come. As you look back on your life, how has God prepared you for difficult times?

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