Satan cannot shake or test the faith of any child of God without the Lord’s permission. Simply put, God has a purpose and plan behind every trial that Satan brings to our lives. Jesus gave a warning to the apostle Peter: “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat” (Luke 22:31).
The Word makes it clear that Satan’s main objective is to destroy the faith of those who serve Jesus. But many believers find it astonishing that the Lord granted Satan access to Peter in order to test him.
Most Christians remember Peter’s boast about his own faith: “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death” (22:33). What Peter says here may come across as spiritual boldness, but in truth it represents a fleshly audacity that the scriptures warn against: “Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12).
When Peter was questioned about his faith, rather than boldly declaring his allegiance to Jesus, he denied that he knew him. And then, in panic, he ran from the scene of his denial. However, this once fearless disciple, now broken and anguishing over his failure, was never for a moment on his own. Jesus had proclaimed earlier, “I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail” (Luke 22:32).
This is one of the most encouraging verses in all of Scripture. Jesus was telling Peter here that no matter what he faced, no matter what he would go through — including his denial of Christ — his faith would not fail!
Just as he has done throughout history, Satan demands God’s permission to sift us today. He wants to attack our homes, our marriages, our children, our health, our jobs and careers, our very belief in the Lord. But be assured, God has not forsaken you — and he never will. Indeed, right now he is saying to you, “I will never leave you. Lo, I am with you, even to the end of the world.”