Through the Sifting

“For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation.
He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.” 
Psalm 62:1-2

Do you feel like you are being sifted? On the night he was arrested Jesus said to Peter, “Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat” (Luke 22:31). Jesus was referring to Peter’s betrayal and his crisis of faith as a sifting process, and He prayed that Peter’s faith would not fail.

I read up on the process of sifting wheat. It’s an ancient two step process consisting of threshing the wheat by spreading the wheat onto a hard floor and beating it with a flail. Once this was done, the wheat would be winnowed, where the loosened chaff is removed from the grain. The old fashioned way of doing this was to throw the grain in the air, where the lighter chaff would be blown off by even a decent breeze. The heavier grains would fall back to the ground below where they were thrown.

I think we all know what that’s like to varying degrees. We get beaten down and blown around, we feel we’ve gone through the thresher. For some, a tragic loss turns their world upside down. For others, the guilt of the past continually haunts them ‘till they feel there is no hope for freedom or redemption. Maybe it’s just the stress and busyness of life that makes us feel as though we’re sinking in the shifting sand. It’s almost as though we can see Satan tossing us up in the air, and we wonder if we’ll ever come down.

It’s times like these we need to remember to still our soul, to wait upon the Lord. The psalmist reminds us: He is our salvation. He is the rock upon which we stand. He is our fortress, the strong tower we run too. When we find our hope, our strength, our salvation in Him, we will find peace in the midst of the sifting.

We will, like Peter, be sifted. When we stand up to be identified as God’s people, we become targets for the enemy. We will be shaken, but not “greatly” shaken. The apostle puts it this way, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Cor. 4:8-9). For Paul, the source of hope in the midst of the sifting rested in the understanding that this “momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Cor. 4:17).

If today you find yourself being sifted, rest in this truth, that your salvation is secure in the steadfast and unchanging love of God who has the power to transform your sifting into righteousness and joy.

Grace and peace,

SDG

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About reveds

Occupation: Pastor, Ebenezer Presbyterian Church, Lennox, SD Education: BS - Christian Education, Sterling College; MDiv. - Princeton Theological Seminary Family: Married, with Four children. Hobbies: Running (will someday run a marathon), Sci-Fi (especially Doctor Who and Sherlock), Theater, and anything else my kids will let me do.
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