The last of the three Biblical characters I wanted to mention this week with regards to faithfulness is Peter.
“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:31-32
I wonder that this passage sometimes loses some of its significance for us because in a few short chapters we see both the fall and the redemption and restoration of Peter. The scriptures on the denial of Peter leave a lot of room for us to imagine what might have been going on in the heart and mind of Peter when he initially defended his honor to the Lord, only to find himself denying Jesus three times before the rooster crowed.
Perhaps it is not until we really need to that we are able to see more in these words of Jesus. Not just to let it sink in that Satan wanted to go after Peter specifically, but that, in some measure, the Lord allowed Satan to get to Peter. Whoa. Yet, somehow in God’s sovereignty, this didn’t crush Peter or persuade him to abandon the faith. No, rather his faith was built strong, as Jesus had prayed that it would. This experience ended up being part of what prepared Peter to take on the leadership role that Jesus intended for him.
I hope that we can become so close in our walk with the Lord that we will be sensitive to His prompting, whether that is to be quick to seek repentance when we do fall or to pray for another who just may be sifted like wheat. In either case, it is an opportunity to submit to the Lord, to recognize how much we are dependent on Him to enable us to be the men and women He has called us to be, and to pray in accordance with the Spirit on behalf of other believers as well as those who do not know Him.