All posts tagged: Peter sifted like wheat

Peter's denial of Christ by Nikolaas Verkolje (1673-1746) Credit: Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Be vigilant and guard your mind against attacks of condemnation

I remember my dad sharing a story from World War II. He worked as a scout for an artillery unit, and they had bedded down for the night. They had pulled back from the front line, so were expecting a peaceful night. When they woke the next morning every one of the several men who had been posted to guard the camp during the night was gone. There were no bodies, they had just disappeared. They suspected that a Nazi commando unit had snuck up on the camp during the night, silently killed the guards and then dragged their bodies away. The sentries were never seen again. He said the fact they disappeared unnerved his unit more than if the Nazis had killed them and left their bodies behind. It is the nature of warfare. A person must never let their guard down and it is no different in spiritual warfare. Peter understood spiritual warfare and he gained that knowledge first hand through his own personal failure. And he used that experience to warn us: …

Fog in Tronheim, Norway Credit: Ksenia Novikova/Flickr/Creative Commons

Why does God test us?

One re-occurring theme in the Bible is that from time to time God tests believers.  Tests have some similarity with trials, but differ in one important respect. Tests are initiated by God, while trials are not. Trials are simply blatant attacks against Christians. But as we will see in the life of Peter, some tests can have a demonic origin. So why does God test us? Paul writes: 4 On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. (1 Thessalonians 2:4 NIV) There are three key words in this verse: approved, entrusted and tests and they are all connected.  God wants to entrust us with more responsibility, but He needs to know how we are going to respond. So God tests our hearts, often through difficult situations, to see how we respond. Are we going to give up? Are we going to back away when the going gets tough? A life of faith is a struggle. …