Victor Gentile's Reviews > Sifted: God's Scandalous Response to Satan's Outrageous Demand

Sifted by Rick Lawrence
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's review
Jan 06, 2012

it was amazing
Read in January, 2012

Rick Lawrence in his new book, “Sifted” published by David C. Cook gives us God’s Scandalous Response to Satan’s Outrageous Demand.

From the Back Cover: A Biblical encounter that will first challenge you, then comfort you, then leave you changed.

Discouraged by life’s difficulties—both the life-shifting catastrophes and the drip-drip-drip of daily troubles? Dissatisfied with the same-old pat answers about God’s role in our hard times? Rick Lawrence takes you on a surprising-even dangerous-journey into the deepest recess of God’s heart towards us. To get there, he drills deep into a single Scripture snapshot (Luke 22:31-32). Jesus tells Peter he’s about to be “sifted like wheat”—shaken hard, beaten, and pitched into despair until he’s separated from the person he always thought he was. Satan’s going to do it. And Jesus is going to allow it. But why? Jesus makes no mistake with His metaphors, and sifting offers a brutally honest picture of God’s goodness at work on behalf of our freedom. “Sifted” is a rigorously honest, deeply challenging, yet powerfully redemptive exploration of the trials that beat us down, the good God who allows them, and the incredible beauty sifting can reveal in us.

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” These two simple verses from Luke’s account of the Last Supper launch a profound exploration of the meaning of trouble in a Christian’s life. Suffering is inevitable, and if we’re honest, the explanations commonly offered often just don’t hold up or help very much. But Jesus’ perfect metaphor of sifting provides fresh perspective on why we suffer and what the sifting process can reveal in our lives.

Peter was to be “sifted like wheat”—shaken hard, beaten, and finally separated from his false identity. Satan was the one causing it, but Jesus would allow it. Lawrence’s verse-by-verse exploration offers insight, comfort, challenge, and a call to greater intimacy with the God who allows our pain because He wants us to know who we really are and what we can become.

If we believe that Christians are still sifted today, why do we so often judge those who are experiencing hardships? They must have done something wrong. God must be punishing them. But suffering is inevitable, whether it comes in the form of life-shifting catastrophe or the drip-drip-dripping of daily troubles. “Sifted” will encourage those who are facing trouble now and those who will face it in the future. It will encourage us to see our pain as a means to greater knowledge and intimacy with Christ. Lawrence offers a rigorously honest, deeply challenging, yet powerfully comforting exploration of the trials that beat us down, the good God who allows our troubles, and the incredible beauty the process of sifting can reveal in us.

“Sifted” is one of the most thought-provoking books I have ever read! I always believed that this sifting process was exclusively for Peter and never, ever claimed it for myself. However, The Bible was written for us and Peter Lawrence does an outstanding job of explaining not only those verses but how they pertain to us and how we can help others who are going through the sifting process. I guarantee you this is not a book you can only read once then put it on the shelf and forget about it. You will come back to it again and again. Everyone should have a copy of this book. It will help immensely!

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free from The B&B Media Group for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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