How many of us would knowingly deny Jesus?
It is easy to say we would NEVER deny Jesus, but we do. We deny him many times a day!
Luke 22:31-21 says,
"Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."
~ these are the words of Jesus
~ Jesus allows satan to sift Simon
~ sift means to break down
~ Jesus says He has prayed for Simon: that his faith would not fail
~ when he had repented and turned back to God, he wanted Simon to strengthen his brothers
This passage is when Jesus was predicting that Peter would deny him. Peter said that he would never do that.
Peter was one of Jesus' 12 disciples so he was on the inner circle. If Peter can fall, we can fall.
We deny Jesus when...
~ we have a critical attitude
~ we snap at our children out of frustration
~ we say things to our spouses that tear them down
~ we don't follow the instructions of Jesus because we have our life mapped out
Jesus allowed this because He knew that it would strengthen Peter and he would in turn be used to strengthen his brothers in Christ.
What is it that the Lord is trying to teach me?
How am I being sifted?
How will I use it for the glory of my Father?
Who is Jesus wanting me to strengthen?
Just as Jesus prayed that Peter's faith would not falter, He is praying our faith will not.
He went BEFORE Peter and He will go before us.
Things may look rocky, but rest assured He is going before us and we have to use it for good.
Peter was renewed and became a powerful leader.
If God can use Peter after he denied him publically, He can use us. We have to be willing to get up, dust off the pain and regret and get about the Father's business.