And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:, but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthened thy brethren. And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death. And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knoweth me. (Luke 22:31-34).
During Jesus’ public ministry, He taught with great authority. Many miracles were wrought at the hands of Jesus, and as a result, multitudes sought after and followed Him. His reputation preceded Him. He drew great crowds everywhere He went. However, He also made some enemies, because of His ministry. The chief priests, scribes, and the chief of the people sought to kill Him. During His ministry, He also drove moneychangers out of the temple. He was not good for business. They began to challenge Jesus’ authority by questioning Him to entrap Him, or to accuse Him of blasphemy. Jesus knew it was only a matter of time before His arrest. He was now a marked man, and those associated with Him, were also marked men. Jesus told Simon of his denial of Him; that Satan desired to have him, to sift him as wheat. Satan wants to know exactly what we are made of. He wants to know if we have made our calling and election sure. Have we counted up the cost of discipleship? Have we truly decided to make Jesus our choice? Do our anchors hold, and grip the solid rock? Is our hope truly built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness?
After Jesus prayed earnestly in the garden of Gethsemane, the place of pressing, or the place of crushing, the place of great pain, He arose and found His disciples sleeping. Jesus awakened them, and He said unto them, “Rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.” The disciples were a part of Jesus’ inner circle. They accompanied Him to Gethsemane, but Peter, James, and John were called by Jesus to draw closer to the “place of crushing.” While Jesus yet spake, a multitude and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and he went to Jesus and kissed Him, to betray Him. The chief priests and captains of the temple, and the elders went unto Jesus. They took Him, and led Him into the high priest’s house. Simon followed afar off. When they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and sat down together, Simon sat down among them. One at a time, three individuals recognized Simon, and proclaimed he was a follower of Christ! Peter vehemently denied this on each account! Upon Simon’s third denial of Christ, immediately, while he spake, the cock crew. The Lord turned and looked upon Simon. Then Simon remembered the words of the Lord; “Before the cock crows, thou shalt deny me thrice.” Simon wept bitterly. He denied being associated with Jesus, not once, but thrice. Simon Peter was a leader amongst the disciples, yet when he was tested, he failed miserably.
We too, who are disciples of Jesus are marked individuals. The word of the Lord says in I Peter 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” It doesn’t matter how long one has been walking with the Lord, and serving Him in the beauty of holiness. You could have been born again of the water and of the spirit, saved and sanctified for twenty years, or for one year. It doesn’t matter, because Satan will try to tempt us, and to sift us as wheat. He knows what our achilles’ heels are, and he will send things and/or people into our lives, hoping that we won’t be able to resist the temptation. I Corinthians 10:13 says, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, and that ye may be able to bear it.” We must build up the spiritual man in the most holy faith, that we not yield to temptation. Many times, the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. When we would do good, evil is always present with us. That’s why Jesus prayed for Peter, that his faith would fail not. Aren’t you glad that His grace is sufficient for us, and His strength is made perfect in our weakness? He also said to him, when he was converted, to strengthen his brethren. Faith, Don’t Fail Me Now! Satan tried to tempt Jesus after Jesus had fasted forty days and forty nights, and was afterward an hungered. Job was tested mightily, but he held fast to his faith when he lost everything he had and held dear in one day, even his children. Rather than cursing God he held on to his integrity, and he worshiped God. He said, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.”
When we pray, God’s answers are yes, no, or wait a while. When God doesn’t show up just when we want Him to, ofttimes our faith will fail us, but we must hold fast to our faith. He may not come when we want Him to, but He is always an on time God! During the difficult times in our lives, we must remain faithful. When God says no, we must hold fast to our faith. When we are sick in our bodies, and we just can’t seem to get well, we must hold on to our faith, and trust in the Lord. The word of God says in Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” It may not seem like it sometimes, but God’s word is true. Even when we don’t see it, He’s working things out for our good. “Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, just to take Him at His word. Just to rest upon His promise, just to know the Savior Lord.” The word says, we are to “Count it all joy when we fall into divers trials, knowing this, that the testing of our faith worketh patience.” So, it is working out for our good, no matter what the test or trial. Faith, Don’t Fail Me Now! If you have not been born again, of the water and of the spirit, Jesus suffered on the cross for your sins, also. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. May God bless you abundantly, today and every day!