When you face a problem, do you find it helpful to have someone on the inside helping you out? When I lived in North Carolina I taught elementary school. One year I had a student who was being mainstreamed in from the school for the deaf. He had some obstacles to overcome, but the biggest was learning to wear his auditory trainer, which was an instrument to help him compensate for his hearing loss. He would wear an ear piece connected to a microphone I wore around my neck. He hated it because it made him different. He fought wearing it until I got creative.
One day the students were sitting in small groups playing math games as a follow up to a lesson. Adam’s group was close to my desk where I sat grading papers. He had been struggling with the concept, so he wasn’t doing too well with the game. I could see him having trouble so I decided to give him a little help from the inside. Every time it was his turn, I would whisper the answer into the microphone. He could hear it with the ear piece, but nobody else could hear me. He started getting the correct answer every time. His classmates couldn’t figure it out and he would have gotten away with it if he hadn’t looked at me and smiled after every answer. Finally everyone caught on. We all laughed and from that point on, he wore his ear piece without a fuss. The only problem we had with it after that day was me remembering to turn the microphone off when I went to the restroom.
In Luke 22:31-32, Jesus told Peter of some trouble coming his way. Peter didn’t need to worry because Jesus was his inside man. In verse 31 we learn Satan asked permission to sift Peter. First of all, we should all feel a little better just realizing Satan has to ask permission to mess with us. Now some of you might be saying “Why would it make me feel better to know God has given Satan permission to put me through the ringer?” If Satan has to gain permission, then we know God is aware. Nothing takes God by surprise, even if it takes us by surprise. God is not only aware but waiting to carry us through the situation into victory.
Jesus knew what Satan wanted to do to Peter and He had talked to his Dad about it before it could happen. In verse 32, He tells Peter He’s prayed for him. Now while it might be a little unsettling to hear that Satan has placed a target on your back, hearing Jesus prayed for you should settle any unsettling you have going on. After all, Jesus tells Peter “when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Clearly, Jesus is telling Peter he’ll make it through the trial victoriously. When you have Jesus interceding for you, you don’t need to worry. He gets what He wants.
Peter isn’t the only one Jesus intercedes for either. Romans 8:34 tells us Jesus is at the right hand of God interceding for us as well. When faced with problems, we can rest in knowing Jesus is our inside man. He is aware of what’s coming, He’s talked to His Dad about it, and He will see us through. The story doesn’t stop there. In the end of verse 32, Jesus tells Peter after he comes through his struggle to strengthen others. God uses our victories to strengthen others and help them through their struggles. He also uses others to help strengthen us. He wastes nothing.