February 12, 2021 | 1 Peter 5:8-14
Dear Redeemer Friends,
Do you ever feel like when you are going through a trial or suffering, you are not only facing your trial but having to battle something else on top of it- like being kicked when you are down?
You probably are.
Peter warns these early believers and us alongside them. We have an adversary- evil itself- who prowls and roars. Yikes. I don’t think about this very much because I am such a “tangible” person. I think the enemies are those I can see and touch. Not to mention, it sounds like something out of a fictional fantasy story. Yet, it’s real. He’s real. Evil is real.
What do I do with this information Peter???
Be sober-minded, watchful: There is a real enemy. He wants to destroy. Especially when you are suffering, persecuted, and going through trials. Matthew Henry writes, “Sobriety and watchfulness are necessary virtues at all times, but especially in times of suffering and persecution.” Have your eyes peeled for extra temptations and oppression during your suffering,
How do I do this Peter???
Resist him: firm in your faith: What if I am really tired? I do not feel very strong. Our faith is in the “God of all grace,” not ourselves. Scripture speaks of faith itself being a “gift from God”. We receive – hold our hands out – pick up this gift. Paul goes on to say, “In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one” Take a slow deep breath. Reflect on who God is – how strong and powerful, good and full of love. Nothing you face is bigger than Him.
Will this suffering last forever???
No. Peter writes, “after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” Restore. Confirm. Strengthen. Establish. These are words and expressions of what lasts and what is to come on the other side of our suffering. Sigh. Rest. This is His Word. This is His promise. We receive His gifts of restoration, and we also are moved to respond as we are ultimately made, “To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
We worship. We draw near as He draws us near, and we worship. Let us do that together this Sunday.
Jen Sanders, Director of Care and Connection
I Peter 5: 8-14
8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
12 By Silvanus, a faithful brother as I regard him, I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it. 13 She who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen, sends you greetings, and so does Mark, my son. 14 Greet one another with the kiss of love.
Peace to all of you who are in Christ.