Strength After Being Tested

This morning I was reading out of Luke and this passage stood out to me, and caused me to stop and ponder myself. It came at a time when the disciples were disputing who should be considered the greatest. Jesus would tell them that, “whoever is greatest among you must become like the youngest, and whoever leads, like the one serving.” Luke 22:26 This led up to Jesus telling Peter: “Simon, Simon, look out! Satan has asked to sift you like wheat. But I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And you, when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” “Lord,” he told Him, ‘I’m ready to go with You both to prison and to death!’ “I tell you, Peter,’ He said, ‘The rooster will not crow today until you deny three times that you know me!'” Luke 22: 31-34 Jesus, knowing what would become of Peter, was letting him know that He prayed that Peter would return after he was being sifted. Notice that He didn’t pray that Peter would be let out of being sifted, but that his faith would not fail. How many times do we pray for a situation in which we do not want to go through, or we ask for a removal from some situation. Yet even Jesus would pray for strength in Peter’s faith instead of removal from the coming trials. Peter, of course, denied that anything like this could happen. He was steadfast and knew that he could handle any situation with Jesus, but Jesus turned that around and told him how he would fail Him that very day. I’m so like Peter in ways I don’t particularly like about myself, or perhaps it’s just the Holy Spirit calling me to honesty instead of thinking how brave I will be during trials. We all want to think about how we will stand when pressured or persecuted. Will we speak out? Will we stand our ground? Or will we remain quiet not wanting to make waves? Will we not want to engage in heated discussions? I often think that I will be able to handle it because I know my faith is strong, yet Peter was strong. He was probably the most outspoken of the 12 and a natural leader among the group. But Jesus knew what he was capable of and what he wasn’t, just like He knows what you and I are capable of and what we aren’t. I think, after reading this morning, I have come to realize that I must pray more for strength during crises, and even if I slip and fall, I know that He who is able to keep us from falling too far, will bring us back once again, will set our feet on solid ground, and hopefully I will have learned just a little more on how to strengthen others by my failures. I think all of us who desire to live as true believers, think we are brave, but still maybe our prayers need to include that our faith will not fail after testing. I pray our faith will not only remain strong, but that we will then step out and strengthen others after we have gone through the fire. Peter did exactly that, and I believe it wasn’t because of his own strength, but by the very prayer that Jesus prayed for him to strengthen others when he had returned from his fall. Through the faith given through Christ our Lord and Savior, we can do this! Pastor Andy

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