Luke 22:31-34 – Times of Trials can be Times of Denial

It has been a little bit since I blogged and I apologize. I could blame it on the summer but the truth be told, there are a lot of things that are going on in our lives right now. It seems like we are facing several struggles with things not working out and the outlook is pretty dim. I don’t want this blog to become some kind of rant or anything so I will spare you the details but I would like to say that Kristen and I have been experiencing some trials to justify what I am about to say.

I have found that in my limited experience in trials  that living this way is just no fun. My experience of trials is limited because I have not had any major tragedy in my life, like a child dying or cancer.  Regardless, I have been through some hard things in life and I know enough that to say that trails are hard to go through.

One of the major points of confusion for me is that these trials often come into play when we are following God’s will. Logically, I would think that God would want to make His will as easy to follow as possible, however that is not always the case.

I also find that in these times, it becomes harder to place you faith in Christ. For example, it is always <sarcasm> fun <sarcasm> to go to someone with a problem and they tell you to just read your Bible. When Bible study can seem almost irrelevant when all you can focus on is paying your bills or an illness of a family member. But often times studying the Bible is exactly what we need most in those occasions. Ask yourself, How are we to get direction without going to the source of our direction?

This past week, I was doing my morning reading and I found this. Now this is not the notable passage for encouragement but I found encouragement here and I hope you can as well.

Jesus Foretells Peter’s Denial
[31] “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat,  [32] but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”  [33] Peter said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.”  [34] Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.”
(Luke 22:31-34 ESV)
 

(V31) Jesus tells Peter of what is to come for him

  • Jesus knew what was to come (Jesus is God and knew what was to come = Jesus is Omniscient “All Knowing”)
  • Satan demands to sift Peter (Satan must ask for permission to sift one of Jesus’ people. = Jesus is Sovereign “in control of all things”)

(V32) Jesus’ Prayer for Peter

  • Jesus prays that Peter’s faith will not fail (I believe that Jesus wants to strengthen the faith of all believers in trials)
  • “And when you have returned again” Jesus tells Peter his faith will fail and return (Encouraging that even when we do fail, God knew it before we did it and He accepts us back to Him.)
  • “Strengthen your brothers” Jesus tells Peter to use his denial to strengthen his fellow Christians. (Pretty cool considering the messages of 1st & 2nd Peter are to endure in trials, written to persecuted Christians.)
My hope and prayer is that if you are going through hard times now you will endure in faith because you understand that God knows what is going on in your life, God is in control of it and God will accept you if you fail.
My hope and prayer is that if you have experienced trials in the past and are now out of them that you “strengthen your brother” through your experiences. That you share life with those around you and others can be encouraged by it.
My hope and prayer for all of us is that we are used as Peter was to build God’s Kingdom here on Earth.

1 thought on “Luke 22:31-34 – Times of Trials can be Times of Denial”

  1. My husband and I went through some similiar things ourselves some years ago. We’d both been employed with large, major companies and business was booming for years… we were living the high life and doing very well. We were active in our church and tithed each Sunday, so we thought we were ‘living right’ and doing exactly as God wanted us to do. Then things began to change, and not for the better, as we had come to think they would. I mean, how can things take a downturn when business is booming, and people are buying the products you’re producing as though they were hotcakes, right?! Well, appearantly God had something else in store for us, something we never saw coming, BUT, that we always talked about as though we had all the experience in the world dealing with it, lol. We, too, were not nearly as experienced as we thought and God was really about to show us what OUR abilities were in comparison to what HIS were for us! I won’t lie, for a while it was extremely uncomfortable and very, very scary.. It was like being on a rollercoaster ride with no end in sight and not knowing a thing about the coaster other than ‘it goes up and down and makes every kind of twist and turn you can imagine’, yeah, it was one of those kind of rides! So off we go…. (looking back: whew, what a ‘learning experience filled ride!!)
    Looking back, I can see how we had actually buried ourselves in debt that we never should have gotten into to begin with.. In our own defense, I will say that thats a very common, typical part of life, and something I was already extremely familiar with, since I was in the financial sector.. oh, I’d seen others ‘make messes of their financial selves’ but for some reason I wasn’t seeing the ‘mess’ that we were making of our own, lol… til the tides started to turn and things began to get rocky and uncertain. Once that happened then our financial picture became very clear, and very scary. I knew we were in trouble, we were, we were! I also knew what I’d been taught about God, and what few experiences of my own I did have to reflect back on, so I quickly began pulling from those.. my fervent prayer began to be that God would show me what I/we needed to do and how to do it. By that time, I knew that we’d done a few things the ‘wrong way’, (i.e., mainly over extending ourselves financially) so I was desperate to know how to get things back the ‘right way’.
    My preacher had always taught, ‘be careful what you ask God for because his ways are not our ways and our ways are not his so you might not exactly like his answer to your prayer but his answer will be better for you than your answer will!!’ I kept playing that over and over again in the back of my mind.. not sure what my trust issue with God was at that time, though, because God had never, ever left me, failed me, forsaken me; that struggle was somewhere within myself and it was causing me some confusion, to say the least.. I later came to realize that it was actually MY pride and MY ego not wanting to let go of too many of my things, lol.. eventually I did let go of everything (for pennys on the dollar, through garage sales, no less! lol) that had that hold on me. Finally, I could breathe again! It was a very crazy time for us, things were all over the place and I had a hard time comprehending where in the world I was suppost to begin in getting things turned around and back on track! Looking back though, I can see that the Lord led me to ‘honestly begin’ right where I was suppost to, humbly on my knees and in prayer..
    Again, (looking back), I can see how I/we allowed way too many ‘things’ in life to cloud our view of God, and our relationship with him; yes, we were in church every Sunday, and tithing our 10%, doing all that we could for whoever we could, so in our minds ‘we’ were the good ones.. honestly though, it is God who is the good one and who allows us to have those things to even do good with in the first place and that is the point that I/we were missing completly..
    I knew the scripture, ‘work that you may have plenty’, so I thought that meant work so that you will have plenty of things to show for.. and I guess, in a sense, it does mean that, but I can see how those ‘things’ felt more like being balled and chained than pleasure and enjoyment. After a while, they began to feel like chores to be kept up with; burdens, unpeaceful things that, in the end, were just things..
    Anyway, through it all, the Lord kept our family intact, and allowed us to keep the things that were the utmost important to our well being. In many ways He answered my prayer the way I prayed, in other ways He answered in ways that HE knew would actually be BETTER for me and my family, so we won all the way around!! Plus, it allowed me to be able to really, honestly proclaim, ‘Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart and lean Lord may claim all the Glory!!
    Final word; do not allow satan or any of his negative thoughts to discourage you or cause you to doubt God, His love for you, or His ability to pull you OUT of whatever your in.
    Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, for He will NEVER leave you OR forsake you, EVER!!’
    I do not know where you and your wife are at in your life, nor do I know what kind of struggles you are going through. I assume that you are dealing with some burdensome things that are similiar to what we went through so I write these things to you, not to preach to you, but to let you know that there IS someone else out there who has gone through similiar things and I have no problem sharing my testimony, bearing one anothers burden. God provides an out for ALL of his children, and you and your wife will find that ‘out’ and come through just fine, I promise!!
    Keep your chin UP, and most importantly, Keep the Faith!!

    Reply

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