"Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers." ~Luke 22:31-32
"when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers."
I had always seen that Jesus had prayed for Peter's faith not to fail, but then he also encouraged Peter to strengthen his brothers - because he would know better what he believed.
Last night at Bible Study we were in 1 Peter, and someone mentioned the fact that Peter had failed so much and it was ironical that he was now encouraging the readers of his letter to stay strong. The weight of the above quote hit me once again - that's exactly why he was writing the letter - he knew the importance of standing strong - he knew the value of the salvation that comes through Jesus' sacrifice - he knew the value of grace.
We are far from useless in God's hands - despite our failures - when we allow Him to pick us up and brush us off, God will use us to strengthen His people.