Faith that doesn’t Fail
Do you seem like the winds of this life are blowing fiercely in your life? Does it seem as though when you take one step forward in God’s presence that you get knocked three steps back? Are you on the verge of calling your pursuit of God off? Let’s take a look at a talk between Jesus and Peter, right before Peter denied Christ. I encourage you to read the entire chapter of Luke 22, ask God to allow you to get into the mind of Christ. Feel what Jesus is feeling – from the betrayal of Judas, to the lack of understanding the seriousness of the times of the disciples, to the prediction of Peter’s denial. Each instance crushed the already crushed heart of our Savior.
Luke 22:31-32 (NLT)
31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. 32 But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.”
The sifting process in those days was really cool. Sifting wheat is a two step process: The first is manual threshing, and the second is winnowing.
Threshing: The first step in the process of sifting wheat is to loosen the chaff from the edible grain, which is called threshing. The old fashioned way to do this is to spread the wheat onto a floor made from stone, concrete, or tamped earth, and to beat it with a flail.
Winnowing: The next step is called winnowing, where the loosened chaff is removed from the grain. The old fashioned way of doing this was to throw the grain in the air, the lighter chaff would be blown off by even a decent breeze. The heavier grains would fall back to the ground below where they were thrown.
The wheat gets sifted, so the hard outer shell can be broken through and removed. You want the actual wheat to remain and nothing extra. As you can imagine, that’s the same process a person has to go through. God breaks down the outer shell of a person, so the real seed of life can remain.
When wheat is sifted, the chaff and other impurities fall to the ground while the desired end product – the good wheat – remains in the sieve.
We believers are the wheat that remains and not the chaff that falls. When God sifts us through our post-salvation trials we become like the good wheat: cleaner, more valuable, and ready for use. The sifting process makes us better, stronger, and more like Jesus Christ.
Peter was attacked by Satan at his greatest strength. Satan attacked Peter’s self-confidence. Even thou Peter failed terribly, the kernel of faith that was left revealed Peter’s need for total dependence on the Lord for confidence. Peter’s trials revealed he could not serve Christ on his on merit or strength. Peter could have given up and quit when the going got tough and when he failed God terribly but he didn’t. He recognized again his need for forgiveness and after he repented and was filled with the Spirit, he never denied Jesus again.
The Devil’s desire is to sift you like wheat, but God wants to reveal your faith.
Just as the sifting process brings forth the best of the wheat, a trial of faith can bring forth the best in you –and this is the key to the Luke 22:31-32 passage.
When trials come and you are tested allow the seed of faith to be revealed. A seed of faith can produce unexplainable triumphs for the Kingdom of God.
Matthew 17:20 (NLT)
20 “You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”
Don’t allow your failures to define you, allow them to reveal the seed of faith in you. We all make mistakes. But mistakes don’t make us. Lean upon God, He won’t let you down. Jesus is interceding for you!!!!
Have a great week – Pastor Richie