By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
and by the breath of his mouth all their host.
For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.
…you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Only one reason exists why God would give Satan permission to sift a dearly loved, devoted disciple: because something needs sifting.
Don’t even read further until you have completely absorbed that statement. God’s answer to Satan’s petition to sift Peter as wheat would have been denied had Peter not contained something that needed sifting…. Everything standing between Simon the fisherman and Peter the rock needed to go.
Satan had a sieve. Christ had a purpose. The two collided. Satan got used. Peter got sifted. For reasons only our wise, trustworthy God knows, the most effective and long-lasting way He could get the Simon out of Peter was a sifting by Satan (When Godly People Do Ungodly Things, 51-52).
Satan, like a drudge, may hold the sieve, hoping to destroy the corn; but the overruling hand of the Master is accomplishing the purity of the grain by the very process which the enemy intended to be destructive. Precious, but much sifted corn of the Lord's floor, be comforted by the blessed fact that the Lord directeth both flail and sieve to His own glory, and to thine eternal profit (Morning and Evening, Morning of June 20).
"Learning to pray is learning to trust the wisdom, the power, and the love of our Heavenly Father, always so far beyond our dreams. He knows our need and knows ways to meet it that have never entered our heads. Things we feel sure we need for happiness may often lead to our ruin. Things we think will ruin us..., if we believe what the Father tells us and surrender ourselves into His strong arms, bring us deliverance and joy....
"My father knew far better than his small, fearful, stubborn son what would give him joy. So does our Heavenly Father. Whenever I have resisted Him, I have cheated myself.... Whenever I have yielded, I have found joy."
~Elisabeth Elliot, "Learning the Father's Love," in Keep a Quiet Heart
|The Ebony Dog at his new favorite lookout spot. A view of the neighborhood and a cozy bed at the same time? What's not to like?|