Simon, Simon, behold Satan asked to have you that he might sift you as wheat - Luke 22:31
The Master apparently did not pray that temptation should be withheld. The quick eye of His affection had discerned the tempter's approach. His quick ear had detected Satan's request of the Father; as though he said, "Let me have the chance for one brief hour, and I will show that these men, so far from being gold, silver, and precious stones, are only wood, hay, and stubble." But though He knew all this, the Master did not request that the winnowing wind should be withheld. Why? Because temptation is part of the present order of the world. Why it is so we cannot tell; that it is so we know assuredly. Why the Almighty permitted the evil one to intrude into paradise, and to assail every single soul of woman born, that has passed to years of consciousness, we shall probably never understand until mystery drops from our eyes in the meridian light of heaven
. We only are sure that the permission of temptation is not inconsistent with His almightiness or beneficence.
Because temptation tests character and reveals us to ourselves and to one another. - Was it not well that Peter should know how weak he was; that he might become truly penitent and converted? Was it not befitting that Judas should be exposed before the day of Pentecost? Was it not best that the foundation stones of the Church should be well tested? It is better to learn our weakness now and here than at the Judgment seat.
But if Satan tempts, our Advocate pleads. He anticipates the advent of temptation by storing up His prayers. He warns the soul when the hawk begins to hover. If He may not arrest temptation, He will at least ask that our faith
may not fail; and will seek us out as He did Peter.