Luke 22:31-34 Standing Up Under Satanic Trials.
Peter serves as a perfect example of what sometimes occurs in the lives of the saints. The Lord, surely wanting to get his attention, uses Peter’s original name of Simon or Simeon, which meant “he has heard,” and He certainly wanted him to hear and pay attention for He said it twice. The Lord wanted to let Peter in on a secret-Satan had asked to sift him as wheat, much like Job of old (v. 31 Cf. Amos 9:9; I Pet. 5:8). As in the case of Job, so also with Peter the rock, the Lord does not refuse Satan’s request. Instead we read that the Lord assures Peter that He has prayed for him that his faith would remain through the trial (v. 32). Furthermore, one of the purposes of this was that Peter might go on to strengthen his brethren (Cf. Jn. 21:15-17). As was typical, Peter was brimming with self-confidence (v. 33). However, Jesus made clear that the trial would result in a “return” of sorts for Peter, suggesting as it does a turning away from His Lord. This is in fact what the Lord would predict-that a rooster would crow after Peter denied Him three times (v. 34 Cf. Jn. 13:37-38).
As with Peter, so with all of us, we often pray that a particular cup might pass from us, but the Lord is already praying not that we escape the trial, but that our faith endure through it, often so that we may strengthen our fellow believers thereby. We should never forget that the Lord continually makes intercession for His own (Heb. 7:25 Cf. Jn. 17:9, 11, 15). However, we so often are like Peter and think that we are just fine and are prepared for any trial that might come our way. Yet here we are reminded that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12). This is why we must “put on the whole armor of God” that we “may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (v. 11). This was and remains in fact Jesus’ prayer, that we “take up the whole armor of God,” that we “may be able to withstand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand” (v. 13). Let us not forget that He is praying for us that our faith will stand the test.