Sifting you as wheat
So, these past few weeks, I’ve been sharing about some difficult times in my life, and how I’ve handled them. I’ve been wondering how the Lord was going to bring this all together, how is he once again going to use these things for good? And, low and behold, on Wednesday night at church, here was this verse.
“But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:32 (NIV)
The Holy Spirit said, “Here it is.”
Some context here, in case you don’t know where this is at in the story of Jesus. They had all just shared the last supper together, and Jesus was telling everyone about the fact that he was about to be betrayed, and betrayed, and the disciples were going to fail, but that everything was going to work out. And, his faithful Simon Peter, declares that he would follow Jesus to prison or death, but we know better don’t we? Just a little further, in the same chapter, less than 24 hours after it’s been decreed, Simon does denounce our Savior, not once, but three times, just as Jesus said.
And, that was it. Jesus wrote Simon Peter off. No forgiveness here….? I’m kidding. Jesus gave him the reassuring words, that he had prayed for him. Jesus knew Satan was going to sift him like wheat. It bothers me a little that they translated this word to “sifted” in the Bible. Have you seen wheat get “sifted”? It’s not like sifting powdered sugar, it’s this whole tumultuous ordeal! It’s a process, it doesn’t look the same AT ALL! It’s not gentle, it’s not slight, it’s not a soft, cute thing whatsoever! So, I really feel like that gets downplayed here. Jesus tells Simon, that the devil is about to mess you up! And, it happens, doesn’t it? Just like it happens with us. We get tossed over, stirred up, shaken, and we don’t look anything like we did before. But, Jesus has prayed for us too. Don’t lose faith. He has prayed because he knew Satan was going to “sift” us.
The Bible tells us repeatedly that we are going to go through trials and tribulations, but don’t lose heart, for God is the Victor. And, here I’ve been sharing my stories with you, to let you know, I’m still here, because God’s got my back. Because, I put my Faith in Him. The winner of life. A couple years ago, around the time that the Year of Great Loss, was just getting started, I had an epiphany moment. I realized that older people were really chill, for the most part. If you think about it, they’re pretty laid back, aren’t they? They don’t really get ruffled over much. Because, they’ve lived it. Whatever you’re going through, they’ve been there, done that. And, they’re still here. And, they’re the people that we turn to when life is happening, for their wisdom, experience, for guidance, which is good, that’s something we should be doing. But, we often forget another tool at our fingertips. The Bible! Here is Simon Peter, getting ready to go through the wringer, but Jesus reassures him, I have prayed for you, that you keep the Faith, and then strengthen your brethren. Just as we are supposed to do. We are supposed to use the things in our lives to help others understand that they are not alone, and to help them know that they can get through anything, if they just turn to God. That’s how we’re getting through all of this stuff! We lean on the Victor, turn it over to Jesus, who has overcome the world, so that we might also overcome it. And, something that I think is also incredibly powerful, Jesus prays for us.
Let’s take this into consideration. When people unload stuff on us, we tell them, “I’ll pray for you.” Why? Because, it’s really the most powerful thing we can do. We tell God about the issue, and then we ask for Him to put his mighty hand upon it – and bless it, comfort it, exalt it. No matter what we do to help the situation, God can do more. Whatever we have in mind for the person, God has more. We turn these things over to Him, because he knows best. And, think about it, Jesus is praying for us. Jesus prayed for his disciples, and continues to pray for them- because we are now his disciples. He’s up there, praying for you, praying for your struggle, praying for your needs, praying that you may keep the Faith, and strengthen your brethren. This concept of Jesus praying for us, was shared at church a while back, and has been so comforting and encouraging to me. To simply remember that Jesus is praying for me. ❤ My Lord and Savior is praying for me. Wanting good things for me, praying that I keep the Faith, wanting me to strengthen all of you. To encourage you. To comfort you. To tell you that Jesus has got you! He loves you, and he’s here for you, that you may not lose the Faith.
Dear Heavenly Father, I pray for these people. I pray for everyone that needs to be lifted up. I pray for your comfort and blessing on their lives. I pray that you watch over them, and guide them. I pray that they remember that they are on the same team as the God who has RAISED PEOPLE FROM THE DEAD! That they are with the God who has THAT power, that strength, that righteousness. That you are the God of MORE THAN ENOUGH! That nothing is impossible for you, God. And that we may all keep the Faith! And that you may give us the wisdom and assurance to share our testimonies with others, that we may show others YOUR way. That they may understand what a Great and Loving and ALL POWERFUL God you are. I pray, that they lean upon you, and find rest in your arms. That we may all be victors with you, Father. That your windows open up to pour out blessings upon us. That may we all remember that You are there for us, and Jesus is praying for us, and that our lives are in your hands, that you may bless us and keep us safe that we may do your will all the days of our lives. In JESUS’ NAME! AMEN!!