I love the interaction Jesus had with Simon Peter shortly before Peter betrayed Him.
Luke 22:31,32 (ESV) “ Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”
Jesus doesn’t say He prayed for Peter to not fail in the first place, He says, “I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail.”
Jesus knows that we are in a real battle and He is passionate that, through it, our faith isn’t shaken. Our struggle – both the defeats and victories – can strengthen our faith in The Lord and in His steadfast love. Of course, we can never allow this to become an excuse for careless living and willful disobedience of God’s Word. On the contrary, when we truly understand the heart God has towards us, even in our sin, it will propel us to pursue holiness like never before.
The Bible tells us that, just as Jesus prayed for his disciples while on this earth, He is praying for you and me even now.
Romans 8:34 (ESV)
Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died —more than that, who was raised — who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
I believe His heart to Peter is the same towards us, “When you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”
What experiences do you have that can be a source of strength and encouragement to those around you? What part of your story will ignite hope in the heart of a weary friend, who feels alone in their struggle?
Lamentations 3:22,23 (ESV)
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning,
great is your faithfulness.