Helped By the Holy Spirit
“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32)
This verse wonderfully demonstrates the sovereignty of God by clearly presenting His omnipotence and omniscience. As believers, we are kept by the power of God! Once again we see God’s boundaries on Satan. Remember Job?
One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the LORD, “From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.” Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” (Job 1:6-12)
Later, God said:
“Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt’? (Job 38:8-11)
Remember the disciple’s words spoken of Jesus?
The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” (Matthew 8:27)
Jesus is our faithful intercessor who sits at the right hand of God and lives to intercede for us. The writer of Hebrews says:
But because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. (Hebrews 7:24-25)
“May the Lord make us watchful against our own spirit, and against the evil one, especially when he is transformed into an angel of light, that it may not be in his power to sift us so as to gain an advantage over us, by our listening to his inward suggestions, or yielding to his subtle temptations.”
(K. H. Von Bogatzky)
Take It to Heart
As believers we are not left to our own resources in our sufferings but are helped by the precious Holy Spirit. Our state is one of weakness yet Christ is our strength and He will cause us to stand. After the suffering, we are able to brightly manifest the very presence of Jesus to a hurting world. When the dross has been skimmed off after the heat, bright gold shines forth. After our trials we are better equipped to encourage and strengthen your brothers and sisters.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will. (Romans 8:26-27)