“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of 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.” (Luke 22:31-32 NIV)
Jesus knew that Simon wasn’t as strong as he claimed to be (is it any wonder then why Jesus doesn’t refer to him as Peter, or “rock,” in this instance?). That is why Jesus prayed for him. In answer to that prayer, Simon would bounce back as the rock that he was meant to be, so Jesus encouraged him to strengthen the others. Simon learned once again Who the real source of his strength was.
We’ve all been in Simon’s shoes. We’ve all gone through trying times that have proven our real character. And just like Simon, we’ve been reinstated by the grace of God and asked to help those who have fallen to rise again. Because God can turn our defeat into triumph and our weakness into strength. He never gives up on us and we should never give up on others. So when He strengthens you, don’t forget to strengthen the others.