Jesus knew Peter would deny Him, yet He extended grace to Peter even before it happened. Here’s what He told him: ‘When you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.’ When God restores us, we should want to tell other people what He’s done. We should want to show His love to them, and encourage them to keep trusting and keep believing. Isaiah said: ‘Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come’ (Isaiah 35:3-4 NIV). And that’s what we’re called to do too. When the valley seems never-ending, the darkness seems to be taking over, and God doesn’t seem to be doing anything, a word of encouragement from others can make all the difference. Before Jesus told Peter to strengthen others, He warned him that the devil was wanting to ‘sift [them] like wheat’ (Luke 22:31 NLT). We all go through times of ‘sifting’, when the enemy is trying to see whether we’ll cling to God or find our strength in things apart from Him. He wants us to falter and trip up on obstacles that he’s placed in our way. God promises to strengthen us during this time. But He can only strengthen us if we bring it all to Him, and trust Him through it. Sometimes we need others to remind us that God’s trustworthy when things are going wrong around us. We need to be reminded that He’s good, despite what the circumstances suggest. We need them to remind us of His promises to us. When we’ve experienced breakthrough, it’s a great opportunity to use our increased faith and expectancy to encourage those who need to be reminded of these things.
If you’ve experienced breakthrough recently, try coming alongside someone who is struggling. If you’re in the valley, ask God to bring people who can speak words of strength and encouragement into your life.
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