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Why does God give Satan permission to test Peter?

Today’s Question: I read with interest your article "Why Bad Things Happen to God’s People." I found it enlightening. I do have a question about Luke 22:31: "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat." Why does God gives Satan permission to test the apostles?

Irene Jimenez

Bible Answer: Your question is a good one. This is a great example of how pride removes us from God’s protection and causes us to trespass into Satan’s territory. Pride is the original sin of the universe. Satan committed this sin in heaven.

Since Satan committed the sin of pride, anyone who is prideful trespasses into Satan’s territory.

This is what the disciples were doing in Luke 22. They were strutting in pride, arguing who was the greatest among them. Knowing this, Jesus saw that the disciples were in Satan’s territory, and therefore Satan had every right to sift them.

Irene, I believe that Satan is a thief and steals from us illegally, however I also believe that the only exception to this is when we are in pride. Pride gives Satan divine permission to test us. This is why the Bible says that "God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble" (James 4:6). Our ability to resist the devil is contingent on us humbling ourselves.

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