“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*
This is Jesus talking. He who has the power to stop storms, banish demons and raise the dead. Yet all He does here is pray for the fallout. Couldn’t He have rejected Satan’s request? Placed a special protection around the disciples?
Of course He could.
The fact that He didn’t shows that, as with Job, the trial would be permitted because it would ultimately accomplish God’s purposes in the lives of His dearly loved people.
So He let it happen.
It can happen to us too.
Sometimes, as with Peter’s denial, it’s our failure. Sometimes, like with Job, it’s out of our control: circumstances and others’ actions. Either way, if we surrender it to God He can use it to shape and grow us into the image of His Son. (See Painfully Conformed, at Other Food: daily devos)
And Jesus intercedes for us. Just as He did for Peter.
Father God, I affirm Your sovereignty. Nothing can touch me outside of Your will. Your plans for me are good. I rely on the intercession of Your Son, and I ask for grace to cooperate with Your Holy Spirit who lives in me, so that whatever the day holds, I can offer it to You in worship and conduct myself in a manner worthy of Your Name.
In hard times or in good times, instead of handling life alone we can take Third Day‘s invitation to “Cry Out to Jesus.”
*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Thanks, Stephanie… this perspective is hard for me to remember in the crunch times, but I think it’s something that makes a huge difference in how we do life.
Have just been through one of those little conforming exercises here (no biggie, but it felt like it to me at the time). It’s easy to talk the theory, but being stretched to live it is always uncomfortable, isn’t it? (And thanks for the OF mention!)
You know what the worst part of the “conforming” exercises is for me? I don’t recognize them. I waste a lot of time looking at the circumstances, when if I’d realize what was going on, I could (not necessarily would!) look to Jesus, submit my will, and cooperate. I suspect the exercise would be over faster, and it’d be an easier passage even though still difficult. Sigh.
I’m glad this stretching time is behind you, and I pray in trust that it has left you stronger in the Lord!