The disciples had been striving over who was going to be chief among them. James said, “where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” (James 3:16) So Satan moved into the scenario of the last supper and began stirring the soup that was already simmering. Judas was the weak link, the susceptible one… Nathaniel wasn’t an option – in him there was no guile. John wasn’t an option – he was always hanging on to Jesus. But Peter seemed like a possibility so Satan asked for permission to sift him. Jesus said, “I have prayed for you [Peter,] that your faith fail not – and when thou are converted, strengthen your brethren.”
Before the sifting was finished, Peter was shaken to the core! But when Jesus was finished, Peter preached at Pentecost! Between Jesus’ prayer and Pentecost there was the last supper, Gethsemane, the betrayal, the trial, the denial, the Crucifixion, three days of shame and misery, the Resurrection and forty days of infallible proofs, the Ascension and 7-10 days in the upper room waiting…
Then came the rushing mighty wind… and the sermon that changed history!
God uses your sifting process to bring you to fruitfulness – and when all is said and done – He gets all the glory!
Tom Pawlak attends New Life Church in Detroit Michigan.