STRENGTHEN THE BRETHREN
“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, strengthen thy brethren.” Luke 22:31, 32
Sometimes we are not as ready as we think we are to serve the King of kings. Peter thought he would never fail the Savior and would die before he would deny Christ. He could not imagine himself failing the Lord he so fervently served. But, Jesus knew better. However, the Lord also knew that Peter would survive the fiery trial and would be restored to a life of usefulness.
Satan wants to destroy those who love the Lord and are committed to serving God with their lives. This is a theme that is repeated in the Scripture. Peter says that Satan walks about as a roaring lion “seeking whom he may devour” (I Peter 5:8). We must take the enemy seriously and realize that a life dedicated to Christian service is not a life free from opposition or difficulty. As a matter of fact, the opposite is often true. Satan will make certain that our faith is tested, and if possible, that we are discouraged or defeated as God’s servants.
From Peter, we can learn how dangerous it is to think ourselves incapable of falling or failing. Jesus knew that Peter would have serious setbacks in his spiritual life, but He promised Simon that He had prayed for him and that victory would come. Isn’t it good to know that Jesus is praying for us? It is especially uplifting to know that when we have failed the Lord, He has prayed for us that our “faith fail not.” May God help us to remember that although we have failed Him and then found ourselves ashamed and guilty, we are not finished as far as serving Him is concerned. Many who have made serious mistakes since coming to Christ have been convinced that they are of no use to God or others. This is not true. Falling down does not mean we are out of the race, unless we choose to stay down. As a matter of fact, Jesus told Peter that when he was restored, he would be able to “strengthen thy brethren.”
God certainly does not want us to fail or deny Him. However, when we do find ourselves in those places of personal disappointment, there is something we should remember. Rather than allowing Satan to use our mishaps to destroy us, we must allow God to use them to help us be more equipped to help others.