February 29, 2016.
Does today’s date appear odd to you? It’s leap year! Today is a bonus day.
I have an exceptional gift for you on this extraordinary day. Writer, singer, and friend Sonia Hancock speaks from place of humble authenticity. Today she shares a special word of encouragement for those facing a great trial. She shared this with me last week and it was too good to keep to myself. I pray this reaches the tender marrow of your heart as it did mine. ~April
Written by Sonia Hancock
Before Simon Peter’s denial of knowing His Savior, Jesus came to him with these words:
“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32)
Christ knew his beloved Peter would face a trial and a failure, yet he loved him still by giving him a prophesy and a promise.
When Satan came to the Father asking permission to sift Peter like wheat, God granted it, and made it known to Peter. Why would the Father allow Peter to go through something so terrible which would inevitably cause him great grief? Because God knew the outcome. With God’s help, Peter would overcome and be a great witness for Christ.
Christ then gave him a beautiful two-fold promise:
That He had and would pray that Peter’s faith would not fail in the struggle that was yet to come.
God would use him in the future to strengthen others. It was a promise that his pain and trial would not be in vain. In time, it would be used for the good of many and God’s glory.
This last year has been incredibly difficult and painful. There has been trial after trial, crisis after crisis, but I have a loving Papa who is allowing difficulty in my life and the life of my family for a good purpose.
I have a Savior who is interceding on my behalf and promising to give me the strength to endure the hardest trial.
Without Him I would fall completely to pieces and have no hope. In my human weakness, I fail. At times, I question His goodness. I fret and shake my fist at the sky and beg for relief. In those times, GRACE! Papa whispers that I am not alone. He is near. I need not fear. He fills me with peace and shows me that I have hope in Him.
I’ve spent this afternoon searching Scripture and praying for comfort. I have worked on our set list of worship music for this Sunday focusing intently on lyrics that speak of hope and love, grace and deliverance. I have been able to praise Papa as He has enveloped me with His loving arms and filled my mind with truth.
He has brought to mind stories of saints who continued in their faith as everything around them crumbled. Stories like Horatio Spafford who penned “It is Well with My Soul” and Job who said, “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him.”
With the Lord’s help, I will stand strong in my faith for He is worthy! And I look forward to a day when Papa will allow my testimony to be a help and strength to others.
Stand strong in the Lord through your difficult days, my friends. He is faithful. He is able. He has His fingerprints all over your life! And oh what a witness you will be!