And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.
But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail;
and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”
Jesus dearly loved Peter. Jesus spoke to him specifically and said, “Simon! Simon! Satan has made a request to sift all of you (plural) as wheat. But I have prayed for you (singular), that your faith will not fail. And when you (singular) have returned to Me, strengthen your brothers.” Even as Jesus faced His imminent arrest and crucifixion, He took time to strengthen Peter for what was to come! He assured him that God had set limits on Satan’s influence. He expressed His confidence that even though Peter’s faith would falter, he would overcome, to the point of strengthening others.
Since Jesus Himself was interceding for Peter, Peter might fail for a moment, but his life would ultimately be victorious. Jesus is fully aware of every temptation and test you will encounter, and He stands ready to deliver you (1 Cor. 10:13). He intercedes for you just as He did for Peter (Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25). Temptation might catch you by surprise, but Jesus is already interceding with the Father on your behalf.
Remember that temptation is not a sin. When you are tempted, turn immediately to Jesus. He will take you to the Father, and you will overcome the temptation, for Jesus has overcome everything you can face in the world (1 John 4:4). When you are tested and are secure in the intercession of Jesus, you, too, will be able to strengthen others. If you are grappling with temptation, Jesus is interceding for you with the Father even now. Be steadfast and encouraged!
Excerpts republished with permission from Experiencing God Day by Day by Henry T. Blackaby and Richard Blackaby c. 1997 B&H Publishing Group