- Peter’s final words to suffering Jewish Christians exiled to Asia Minor.
- He has encouraged them to think rightly about their suffering. Thinking is critical to persevering.
- He exhorted the elders to shepherd the flock, exercising oversight, eager to serve.
- He then challenged everyone to walk in humility with one another and before God.
Read 1 Peter 5:8-11
- As someone who is overly rational, rarely do I seriously consider the possibility of a spiritual attack as the cause of suffering.
- I overcorrect against those who blame Satan for every sin they commit (“The Devil made me do it”).
- Instead, I hardly acknowledge Satan. And frankly, that’s probably worse. How can you resist someone you treat like a figment of people’s imagination?
- God will put an end to our suffering and glorify himself through it.
- Satan’s Role In Your Misery (8-9)
- God’s Role In Your Recovery (10-11)
Satan’s Role In Your Misery (8-9)
- v.8 Always be alert (1:13). The devil is waiting for you to let your guard down. Don’t walk around in constant fear. But, like a watchman, constantly scan your environment. Be hyper-sensitive to the dangers and temptations that surround you.
- v.9 Christians are to resist the devil (cf. James 4:7). What does that mean? Should we talk to him?
- Resistance has to do with suffering. Trusting God in our suffering is resisting the devil. Recognize that God is sovereign over all suffering (2:21; 4:19).
- We find solidarity in the suffering brotherhood > strengthens our resolve to persevere with joy (4:13).
- Two hikers recently came across a mountain lion in the Sequoia National Park. Thankfully, it was not on the prowl.
- Context: Exiled from Rome. Familiar with the Colosseum and its twisted form of entertainment. Lions mauled humans to death. That’s what fills the minds of the original audience.
- The suffering Job experienced was caused directly by the devil. God permitted it, but Satan is the one who unleashed his hatred upon Job’s family and business.
- Job didn’t have the ability to say, “I resist you Satan!” That would’ve changed nothing. Resisting the devil, in Job’s case, was not cursing God in his suffering.
Clowney In order to resist the devil we draw near to God.
- We have a spiritual enemy who wants to mock God by utterly destroying our faith.
- He seeks to isolate us from others by telling us that no one really cares/understands how we feel. If we believe those lies we pull ourselves away from those God provided for strength.
- If you truly believed there were a lion prowling back and forth in your front yard, you’re going to…
- Put on every piece of armor you can find (Eph. 6:10-20).
- Diligently instruct your family how to protect themselves.
- Cling ever tighter to the promise that God is with you (1 John 4:4).
You can confidently do this because of…
God’s Role In Your Recovery (10-11)
- v.10 Be encouraged! You don’t suffer alone. God will bring your brief suffering to an end (cf. 1:6; 2 Cor. 4:16-18).
- God will use your suffering to sanctify you, not merely preserve you. In your suffering, God is making you fit for an eternal glory.
- Eternal glory is what God has called you into and what he will establish for you!
- v.11 When we suffer in solidarity, in view of eternal glory, we surrender to the God who reigns forever. Our suffering points to God’s dominion now and forevermore.
- Our suffering becomes self-centered and unbearable without these truths.
- You say, “But, you don’t know what I’ve been through.” Or, “You don’t know what I’ve done. I could never recover.”
- Peter shakes his head,
Don’t you know who I am? I walked with Jesus. I saw him heal the sick, rebuke the Pharisees, fearlessly cast out demons. I watched the guards arrest him and mock him. They spit in his face, beat him, and placed a crown of thorns upon his head.
But, instead of crying out on his behalf, instead of running to his defense, I cowered. No! I didn’t just cower, I denied I even knew him!
- The original letter was likely stained with tears. Peter suffered deep emotional agony. But he also knew what it was like to be restored by God.
- Although our spiritual adversary is directly responsible for much of our suffering, God will put an end to it and glorify himself through it.
- Our weakest moments reveal the power and glory of God all the more. It’s why Paul said he would boast in his weaknesses; for God’s power is manifested in our weakness.
- Not only is God strong, those suffering prove to be strong. It’s always intimidating to be vulnerable, but whenever people are open and honest about their fears, doubts, and insecurities – what do we think? “They are so brave. That takes guts. They are stronger than me. Etc. Etc.”
Resist the devil by trusting in God’s sovereign reign.
- Your ability to resist the devil is directly linked to “your faith” (v.9). It is the shield of faith that extinguishes the flaming darts of the evil one (Eph. 6:16). Your faith protects you from the lion’s claws.
- Know this! When you suffer, whether emotionally or physically, and you feel like your faith is weak, that shield of faith has not weakened one bit.
- When you place your faith in Christ, you trust that He took your place before the adversary.
- Jesus is the Lamb of God who has already crushed the head of the roaring lion!