Yesterday, I learned that my friend, Carolyn, whom I mentioned in my prior post received her total healing, not on earth but in heaven. I'm going to miss her.
Then, this morning I read an e-mail from another dear friend, whose writing I dearly miss, that she is going through something, too.
What is going on, Lord?
The answer came to me in a verse.
International Standard Version (©2008) "Simon, Simon, listen! Satan has asked permission to sift all of you like wheat, Luke 22:31
Though Jesus is talking directly to Simon Peter, it is directed to all of His followers. All. Including us, the present day followers of Christ. Doesn't it feel like we're all in a season of sifting right now? Our relationships, our loved ones, our health, our finances, our jobs... Reading that verse at face value is scary. One is almost tempted not to forge ahead with our God-given purpose because, really, who wants to go thru spiritual warfare and be sifted by Satan?
However, I am comforted by two things:
1) Satan has to ask God permission to do so. Satan is not in charge, God is.
2) Because God loves us, I know He will only permit those things to come into our lives that will make us conform to His image. God is after our sanctification.
And I am also glad that God does not leave us hanging because if you read the next verse ~
International Standard Version (©2008) but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail. When you have come back, you must strengthen your brothers." Luke 22:32But Jesus (I love that phrase!) has prayed for us - that our own faith should not fail. Is there a better Prayer Warrior than Jesus? Since He has prayed for us, He knows that we will come out of our sifting much stronger than when we came in. Also notice this season of sifting has a limit. He said "when you have come back..." Not "if" but "when."
So, be strong, friends. Jesus won't let you fail. While you are alive and breathing, you have a God-given mission. Fulfill it. Don't give in to the fear. Our God is stronger!