When We Feel Shaken

The Coronavirus threatens to shake all of us. Peter and the other disciples understood how it felt to be shaken, yet they were able to overcome.

When We Feel Shaken

March 26, 2020

The struggle you’re in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow. Don’t give up. – Robert Tew

Anyone feeling a bit shaken up right now? The phrase “shake up” can mean to drastically rearrange or reorganize something. I believe all of us can relate to the “shaking up” of our lives due to the impact of the Coronavirus.

When I think of being shaken up, the following Bible passage comes to mind:

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of 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 NIV)

During the last moments with His disciples prior to the crucifixion, Jesus warned them of the struggles they would soon face. He told them they would soon be “sifted like wheat”.

The disciples immediately understood this analogy because the wheat harvest played a significant role in their culture.

In order to produce a useful wheat harvest, grain first needed to be separated from the stalks. To do this, the farmer threshed the wheat by placing the stalks on a hard floor and driving cows or oxen over them. The feet of the animals separated the grain from the stalks. After threshing, the farmer winnowed the wheat by using a tool similar to a pitchfork. As he threw the trampled pieces into the air, the lighter impurities, or chaff, blew away in the breeze. The heavier grain and seeds fell back to the ground where it mixed with the dust and pebbles of the threshing floor.

After winnowing, the sifter placed the mixture of grain, seeds and pebbles in a sieve. The sieve, circular in shape, measured two to three feet in diameter and three to five inches deep. Violently shaking the sieve forced the impurities to the sides, separating them from the good wheat grain. After sifting the wheat, it could finally be ground into flour.

Imagine being placed in a sieve and violently shaken. Simon, otherwise known as Peter, and the other disciples knew how uncomfortable this process would be. The unfolding of daily events may be helping all of us understand what being shaken feels like. 

These verses present a daunting warning, but they also offer opportunities for so much hope. 

First of all, Jesus presided over Satan. Satan asked to sift the disciples as wheat; he didn’t have authority to do it without permission. Jesus warned us we would have trouble in this world. But because of Him, we can overcome whatever the world throws at us. (John 16:33) 

Second, Jesus prayed for Peter. In this passage, He prayed specifically for Peter’s faith to not fail. The Bible teaches Jesus still intercedes for us. (Hebrews 7:25) I’m not sure what His prayers specifically look like, but I do know prayer creates a special bond between people. Praying for people places them on my heart. I love the image of Jesus praying specifically for me.

Finally, Jesus believed in Peter. Even though Jesus predicted Peter would fail, He also knew Peter would repent and return to strengthen his brothers. The sifting process actually purified Peter’s faith and made Him stronger. 

Our road feels a bit rocky and topsy-turvey these days. Like Peter, our circumstances promise to sift us like wheat. As Christians, we can allow the sifting to purify our faith by drawing us closer to Jesus. Then we will be able to strengthen others.

Sift me, O Lord, so I can strengthen others. 

Wherever the road leads us next, may our purified faith shine a light for those around us.

*Sign up below for my blog and receive a free, inspirational Bible study of the Apostle Peter’s life. Watch how he strengthens his brothers after being sifted like wheat.

When We Feel Shaken

March 26, 2020

The Coronavirus threatens to shake all of us. Peter and the other disciples understood how it felt to be shaken, yet they were able to overcome.

The struggle you’re in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow. Don’t give up. – Robert Tew

Anyone feeling a bit shaken up right now? The phrase “shake up” can mean to drastically rearrange or reorganize something. I believe all of us can relate to the “shaking up” of our lives due to the impact of the Coronavirus.

When I think of being shaken up, the following Bible passage comes to mind:

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of 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 NIV)

During the last moments with His disciples prior to the crucifixion, Jesus warned them of the struggles they would soon face. He told them they would soon be “sifted like wheat”.

The disciples immediately understood this analogy because the wheat harvest played a significant role in their culture.

In order to produce a useful wheat harvest, grain first needed to be separated from the stalks. To do this, the farmer threshed the wheat by placing the stalks on a hard floor and driving cows or oxen over them. The feet of the animals separated the grain from the stalks. After threshing, the farmer winnowed the wheat by using a tool similar to a pitchfork. As he threw the trampled pieces into the air, the lighter impurities, or chaff, blew away in the breeze. The heavier grain and seeds fell back to the ground where it mixed with the dust and pebbles of the threshing floor.

After winnowing, the sifter placed the mixture of grain, seeds and pebbles in a sieve. The sieve, circular in shape, measured two to three feet in diameter and three to five inches deep. Violently shaking the sieve forced the impurities to the sides, separating them from the good wheat grain. After sifting the wheat, it could finally be ground into flour.

Imagine being placed in a sieve and violently shaken. Simon, otherwise known as Peter, and the other disciples knew how uncomfortable this process would be. The unfolding of daily events may be helping all of us understand what being shaken feels like. 

These verses present a daunting warning, but they also offer opportunities for so much hope. 

First of all, Jesus presided over Satan. Satan asked to sift the disciples as wheat; he didn’t have authority to do it without permission. Jesus warned us we would have trouble in this world. But because of Him, we can overcome whatever the world throws at us. (John 16:33) 

Second, Jesus prayed for Peter. In this passage, He prayed specifically for Peter’s faith to not fail. The Bible teaches Jesus still intercedes for us. (Hebrews 7:25) I’m not sure what His prayers specifically look like, but I do know prayer creates a special bond between people. Praying for people places them on my heart. I love the image of Jesus praying specifically for me.

Finally, Jesus believed in Peter. Even though Jesus predicted Peter would fail, He also knew Peter would repent and return to strengthen his brothers. The sifting process actually purified Peter’s faith and made Him stronger. 

Our road feels a bit rocky and topsy-turvey these days. Like Peter, our circumstances promise to sift us like wheat. As Christians, we can allow the sifting to purify our faith by drawing us closer to Jesus. Then we will be able to strengthen others.

Sift me, O Lord, so I can strengthen others. 

Wherever the road leads us next, may our purified faith shine a light for those around us.

*Sign up below for my blog and receive a free, inspirational Bible study of the Apostle Peter’s life. Watch how he strengthens his brothers after being sifted like wheat.

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