Firm in the Faith
Open Your Bible
1 Peter 5:8-14, 2 Corinthians 4:7-18, Ephesians 6:12-20
BY Guest Writer
In this world, we are going to suffer. It’s true. That’s what Peter is saying at the end of his letter. There are spiritual things going on in this world that he wants us to remember. First, we have an enemy, and a very real one at that. And his most successful tactical move toward defeating us is perhaps our own tendency toward distraction. We’d much rather look for ways to explain our pain and suffering, or find ways to numb or ignore it—anything but lean into it.
The world is blind to the schemes of the enemy, who has also blinded their eyes to the light of the gospel (2 Corinthians 4:4–6). This is why Peter is pleading with Christ-followers to “be sober-minded, be alert.” Because our “adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
Now, I can assure you that when facing down a lion, real or hypothetical, my first instinct will always be to flee, not stand and fight. And this lion Peter is warning us about is very real, indeed—whether we’re aware of him or not—and he is always stalking us, circling, looking for a weakness to exploit. Therefore, we are to “resist him,” standing “firm in the faith, knowing that the same kind of sufferings are being experienced by [our] fellow believers throughout the world” (v.9). We must be awake to his schemes.
Suffering throughout a fallen world? The enemy would far rather we continue to be surprised by it, especially if, in the midst of our pain, we begin to doubt the goodness of our God. And so we must remember that our personal pain and suffering this side of heaven are not the exception (1 Peter 4:12). Nor are our struggles really with one another; they are with evil itself (Ephesians 6:12).
This enemy will use every weapon in his arsenal to abuse us and tear us away from the path God has called us to. He wants to keep us from maturing in the faith, and he most definitely does not want us to become who God created us to be: devoted lovers of God, who display His love and splendor to the world. Our enemy wants to wound us and will stop at nothing to do it.
But here’s the most important thing to remember: Jesus Christ defeated death and evil itself (John 16:33), and if we are in Him, we’ve conquered them too—the enemy cannot harm us (1 John 5:4, 18–19). We belong to a loving, all-powerful God, who does not abuse us through suffering. Instead, He draws us closer to Him, healing and transforming us through our pain—not in spite of it. Because of this, we will never be crushed under the weight of persecution or affliction. This suffering is only temporary, but our salvation is secure, our relationship with our Creator everlasting (2 Corinthians 4:7–9, 16–18). And after we have suffered a little while, God Himself will restore us and make us strong, firm and steadfast (1 Peter 5:10). Thanks be to our God.
Kara Gause is a content editor for She Reads Truth, happily residing with her family in Nashville, Tennessee.