“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.” Luke 22:31 - 32 (HCSB)
We are looking at the account of Peter's denial so we learn deep truths about this process. We pondered yesterday that the devil cannot sift a believer without Christ's permission. Jesus told Peter ahead of his rejection and denial. Satan is called the "accuser of the brethren" in revelation 12:10. He comes before God and seeks to place accusations against us. He asks to be able to sift believers - especially those that God will use or is using. So, why does God allow this to happen? The answer is - God uses sifted people. He uses the sifting to bring honor and glory to Himself. He uses weak, imperfect people. Every sin we commit as a Christian is a denial of our Lord.
As I said yesterday, I am so thankful in my life that God did not end the account of Peter here. He was warned, he denied Christ, and he wept bitterly. Feeling condemned, Peter thought that any use by God was over. However, God writes the final word.
When he was sifted, he had some choice s to make after he failed the temptation. He could have rebelled. He could have blamed God for letting him fail. He could have used many excuses, he could have run. And, had he done any of these - he would have failed the test as well as the temptation.
Peter, went out, wept bitter tears and repented to God for what he had done. We know the account in John 21. we see the 3-fold restoration of Christ. The one who denied Christ, after repenting was restored. And the one that denied Christ went on to preach the sermon on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2). The one who denied Christ was used to open the door to the Gentiles (Acts 10). God didn't throw him away, but when he earnestly repented of his sin - God went on to use him as only a broken believer can be used. To bring honor and glory to Jesus and to build the Kingdom.
Today ponder, have you denied your savior by sin in your life? Do you feel He can never use you again? Have you sought Him in repentance for restoration? If so, look forward to how He will use you once more.