The word preserve means to keep. The Lord preserves or keeps us in His way, empowering us to bear fruit that glorifies Him. Here are some verses: Psalm 145:20. He preserves all who love Him. Psalm 47:10. He preserves the souls of His saints. Psalm 31:23. The Lord preserves the faithful.
Proverbs 2:8 says, “He guards the paths of justice, and preserves the way of His saints. Jesus preserved Peter. Look at Jesus’ reassurance. In Luke 22:31 Jesus told Peter that satan desired to sift him.
Verse 32 says, “But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” Jesus prayed that Peter’s faith would not fail during the sifting. His words, ‘when you have returned to Me’ imply that Peter would return. Then Jesus gave him a commission that also implied that the sifting would make Peter’s faith stronger.
Trials and temptations by satan’s sifting are designed to destroy. The Lord’s fiery-refining trials purify our faith by removing any dross that would weaken it.
Amos 9:9 says, “For sure I will command, and will sift the house of Israel among all nations, as grain is sifted in a sieve; yet not the smallest grain shall fall to the ground.” In those days they sifted the grains by shaking them in large mesh sieves. The chaff and little pebbles would fall to the ground, thus purifying the grain for use.
Jesus gave Peter a commission for after his sifting. We also have a trial-commission. 2 Corinthians 1:4 says, “Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
Trials and siftings bring up the dross. That process is exceedingly painful. Job was sifted by satan, but Job himself had no clue that satan was behind his losses. Jesus was sifted by satan. How did He counter each of satan’s temptation-attacks? By speaking His word, “It is written…” That is how we persevere. We are called to persevere by holding fast to our faith through His word.
Here is another aspect of our call to persevere. Ephesians 3:10-11 says, “To the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
We are part of His church on display to other believers, unbelievers, and to the rulers of darkness. Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
We stand through perseverance, as the Lord is working out His eternal purposes in our lives. I love Ephesians 1:11. It says, “In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will.”