"And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat" (Luke 22:31).
Most of us do not warrant the personal attention of Satan as Peter did, for we do not constitute as great a threat to his kingdom as Peter did. Nevertheless the devil, "as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour" (I Peter 5:8). Whether he attacks us himself--as he did Peter, and David, and Job--or assigns this task to one or more of his demons, the fact is that Satan is real and his legions of evil spirits are real, and they will, indeed, seek to force every believer into Satan's sieve.
John calls Satan "the accuser of our brethren . . . which accused them before our God day and night" (Revelation 12:10). He uses every device to keep us from Christ, or to persuade us to sin against Him, or even to deny Him as Peter did. Jesus called Satan "a murderer from the beginning . . . a liar, and the father of it" (John 8:44). He seeks to sow discord among the brethren, to sow tares among the wheat, to sow false doctrine with the truth, to sow evil thoughts in the pure, to do all he can to hinder our work for God and our faith in Him. And, as Martin Luther sang: "On Earth is not his equal."
Yes, but "we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And He is the propitiation for our sins" (I John 2:1-2). Furthermore, "He ever liveth to make intercession for them" (Hebrews 7:25).
The Lord assured Peter that, even though Satan would sift him as wheat, "I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not" (Luke 22:32). And when Jesus prays, God answers!
When we, like Peter, have been sifted through the sieve of Satan, and when we also know that our great advocate and intercessor has prayed for us and our faith has not failed, then we can, as the Lord exhorted Peter, "strengthen thy brethren" (Luke 22:32). HMM