Peter was to be sifted so that he could thereby be sanctified; and then become useful to help his fellow Believers grow stronger. What satan meant for evil would end up being a great blessing to many.
When I track my weary way,
When fresh trials come each day,
When my faith and hope are dim,
Then, my soul, consider Him.
Waiting for God to respond to our urgent petitions is often a challenging experience. We pray to Him hoping for a quick answer. But things rarely happen as quickly as we would like. Therefore, we must wait.
Psalm 13 captures the emotional and spiritual strain that Believers often experience while waiting on God and gives us insight on how to cope.
God hath not promised skies always blue,
Flower–strewn pathways all our lives through;
God hath not promised sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.
The modern church does not suffer, primarily, from a lack of teaching: the modern church suffers from a lack of obedience. The failure of the church today is that Believers refuse to practice the teachings of Scripture: we make every excuse to do the opposite of what the Bible teaches. We will only be able to stand up to the fierce storms of life if we have a foundation built on OBEDIENCE to God’s Word.
When some followers of Christ find themselves suffering, their immediate response is “Lord, deliver me from this, immediately!” He can and sometimes He does. But He often does not. When He does not it may be because it is His will to grow spiritual character in the life of His follower.
This is a point of testing that we often fail. We believe God is loving and good when things are easy and we can see a smooth, comfortable course ahead of us. It’s so easy to feel love and praise for God when we get the promotion at work, when a dear saint in the church is healed, when our children delight us and our friends admire us. But when sickness strikes and sees no relief; when a colleague maligns us and we find ourselves out of work, when children rebel and we feel alone and rejected – where is our faith then?
When days of darkness come upon us, let us not count it a strange thing. Rather let us remember that lessons are learned on such days, which would never have been learned in sunshine.
I thank Thee, Lord, that here our souls
Though amply blessed,
Can never find, although they seek
A perfect rest;
Nor ever shall, until they lean
On Jesus’ breast.
We are told that nothing shall separate us from God’s love for us. And that is greatly comforting, even inspirational. However, it is difficult to remember this truth and walk in this truth when trials come into our lives.