“Simon, Simon, Satan has demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail.” (Luke 22:31-32a). 

Perhaps in this act, by Peter being sifted like wheat, Jesus agreed to the terms of Satan, that the hypocrisy might be filtered from Peter’s life.  So, by the pulverizing and filtering of this man did Jesus purify and use him, ground to a powdery consistency, to spread his kingdom.  So does he rid Paul of grounds for boasting by allowing a demon to torment him and tell the apostle, “my power is sufficient for you… my power is perfected in weakness.” 

And so does He take us, with this, that, or another pride or boast, leavened through the life, and purify the heart.  Praying for our faith and holding us sure as the enemy assaults, in some hour of darkness, does he then pull out the leaven from the broken pile of dust that would not be extracted from the whole life.  So does brother James admonish and encourage disciples to “be joyful when facing trials of many kinds” and Paul encourage us that, “suffering ends in hope, filled with the love of God.”  And it says, “no discipline at the time seems pleasant, but later it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness,” because the purifying is humiliating and painful.  But later, when we have a more fair estimation of ourselves, do we thank God and enter into trials with, or at least learn to come from them in hindsight, with joy. 

“Strike the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered,” Isaiah tells us.  Make it look like God is in a vice and can’t get escape, as Peter watching his master betrayed, and we are robbed of hope and curse and deny.  But God’s always was and always is the power and he knows what he is doing.  And his power, even in it’s foolishness, is wiser than the wisdom of men.  Follow him and let him do the sifting and disciplining, and trust him with what he is doing.  Amen