What’s going on here?
Jesus had great hopes for Peter. And a great need for him. To Peter alone, Jesus said, “Satan has desired to have you, that he may sift you like wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith fail not. And when you are converted, strengthen your brethren” (Luke 22:31-32).
With the star student, your hopes are great, your concern strong and constant, and your methods more severe than with anyone else in the room.
The Lord had big plans for Joseph. He would be God’s instrument for bringing His people from Canaan into Egypt, thus rescuing them from starvation. But first, He had to perfect the young man. And that’s why the harsh treatment and strong methods. Joseph came through like a champion and was mightily used of God.
The Lord had big plans for Moses. He would be the Lord’s servant to bring Israel out of their Egyptian slavery. But Moses was too headstrong and undisciplined. So, the Lord sent him to the backside of the mountain for forty years, and then when the man was 80 years old, the Lord decided he was ready. There is no greater champion in the Old Testament than Moses.
The Lord had big plans for the disciples, and Peter in particular. When Peter came walking on the water to Jesus, then panicked at the wave heading in his direction and began to sink, after taking hold of him, Jesus said, “O ye of little faith! Why did you doubt?”
When Matthew recorded that incident, I believe he left out something. The twinkle in Jesus’ eyes.
Jesus was proud of Peter. He alone walked on the water. He alone had the faith to do that, even if he did not finish it as well as he had begun.
But make no mistake, the Lord thought a great deal of this young man.
After all, whom the Lord loves, He chastens.
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; for those whom the Lord loves, He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives” (Hebrews 12:5-6, quoting Proverbs 3:11-12).
If He didn’t believe in you so strongly, He would pass you by and leave you on the bench.
Only to Peter did Jesus say, “Satan has desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith fail not….” (Luke 22:31-32).
Jesus believes in you. That’s why the early disciples were honored to be called on to suffer for the Lord (Acts 5:41). They knew how this works.
Someone says, “I wish He didn’t have so much confidence in me.” Many of God’s choice servants have thought that and voiced it.
Be faithful, friend. You will be glad you hung in there through these trying times.
This article was written by Joe McKeever and originally appeared at his blog. Find it here.
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