but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers."Luke 22:32(NASB)
The enemy is a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour and seeks to sift all God's children like wheat. However, he has to ask God's permission, and God is faithful and will not let any one of us be tempted beyond what we can bear. But what is so special is that the Lord Jesus as a Man, understands our weaknesses but as God, He is both omniscient and omnipotent, and He intercedes for us in the heavenly places so that our faith will not fail. We see Christ's wonderful intercession for Simon Peter, that his faith would not fail, and we know that God is no respecter or persons and will equally intercede for us when we are facing similar trials and tribulation.
Even after the Lord's warning to him, Peter continued full of his own self-confidence proclaiming, "Even if everyone else turns against you, I certainly won't," yet only hours after this proud boast, Simon Peter renounced his gracious Lord three time, with cruel denials and cutting curses. It looked as if Christ's prayer for his chief disciple had gone unanswered – it seemed that Peter's faith had crashed into smithereens.
But it was not Peter's faith in his Lord that was bankrupted but faith in his own proud boastings. It was not his trust in Jesus that had been scorched and left in ashes but his own self-confidence.
It was faith in Christ and utter dependence on God for which the Lord Jesus prayed and which did indeed stand the test of time, as ultimately Peter's foolish trust in his own limited abilities and confidence in his own human strength, was replaced with an unshakable faith in His Lord and Saviour.
It was a hard lesson for Peter to learn, but one that was necessary for him to mature into a man that was given the commission by his Saviour to "feed my sheep," and "feed my lambs." Peter grew into a man that could say with Paul: "It is not in my own strength and self-confidence that I trust – but in Christ Who is my all in all."
The trial of Peter's faith is no different from the various trials that we are faced on our journey through life. They are allowed by God to refine us and teach us that our dependence is on Christ and not on self, for our faith, like that of Simon Peter, is more precious to God than gold. And when our faith is refined and tested by fire – it is with the desire that it may result in praise and glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Loving Father, thank You for the Lord Jesus Christ Who is my heavenly intercessor. I pray that in all the trials of life I may come out as pure gold, not having confidence in myself, but in Him Who died for me. In His name I pray, AMEN.