Luke 22:31-32 “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.”

One of my favorite things to eat when my wife and I go to dinner is the bread that sometimes comes before the meal.  (I especially like it when the bread is warm, and I can put a lot of butter on it!)  But I rarely think about the process of making bread.  In Jesus’ time, farmers harvested their wheat and then threshed it, which separated the wheat from the unusable chaff.  But that did not make the wheat ready to make bread yet.  The last step was to put the wheat into a sieve. Here they violently shook the sieve to sift the wheat.  The good part was collected, and the impurities were removed.

In Luke 22, Jesus is telling His disciples that they are going to experience a spiritual sifting and that this will make their faith stronger.  The same is true for us today.  At times in life, we are sifted by pain and suffering.  But God allows this, so we cling to Jesus and do what He says.  This, in the end, can ultimately make our faith stronger and help encourage others! 

How about you?  This has been a year where many have experienced a sifting.  Frustrations, pain, and uncertainty can either push us closer to God or be an excuse to run away.  How has God sifted you over the past year?  Are you closer to Him or have you stepped away? 

Take a few moments to read and reflect on Luke chapter 22, and let God grow your faith through seasons of sifting.