Grace For The Journey
This week we are looking at the truths in this passage that will help us deal triumphantly with our battles found in 1 Peter 5:6-10. If you have been a Christian for very long, you have realized something that is an absolute certainty. . .
Every believer fights battles.
The problem is not that we face battles; the problem is that we face far too many of them in our own strength. We have forgotten what the Bible teaches about battles . . .
The Battle Is The Lord’s
It is essential that we deal effectively with our battles. Monday we learned the first
principle that will help us do just that – We are to be humble. Tuesday we will look at the second principle that will help us deal effectively with our battles. – Be dependent. Wednesday we dealt with the third principle – Be Alert.
The Bible says in 1 Peter 5:9, “Resist him, steadfast in the faith …” Let’s look at the fourth principle and fifth principles that helps us deal effectively with our battles is that we:
- Be tenacious
When we have humbled ourselves and found our strength in God, when we have learned the secret of dependence, and when we remain on our guard against the devil, we stand our ground.
There is a direct relationship between a strong faith and the ability to live an overcoming life. The Bible tells us in Ephesians 6 to “take up the shield of faith, and having put on the whole armor of God we will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.” James 4:7 says, “Therefore submit to God. But resist the devil and he will flee from you.” And here in 1 Peter 5 we are told to “resist the devil steadfastly in our faith.”
When our faith is strong, when our confidence in God is unshaken, it is then, and then alone that we have turned the battle over to the Lord. As David stood before Goliath, in 1 Samuel 17:47 he said, “The battle is the Lord’s.” In Exodus 14:14 as Moses and his people stood between the Red sea and the armies of Pharaoh, Moses told the Israelites, “The Lord will fight for; you shall hold your peace.”
Throughout Scripture, whenever God’s people stood firm in their faith, God came through. Whether it was Daniel in the lion’s den, or Paul and Silas in the Philippian jail, when people put their trust in God, He came through. Resist the devil and stand firm in your faith. God will come through for you. Don’t give up. Don’t give in to discouragement. Do not give the devil a foothold. Stand firm in your faith.
Look at the last part of verse 9 and on into the first part of verse 10. Here we see the fifth principle that helps us deal effectively with out battles: “… knowing that the same suffering are experienced by your brothers in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while . . .”
- Be prepared
Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:12, “All those who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” As Peter, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote these words to the early church, persecution of Christianity was spreading.
In July of the year 64, Nero set a fire in Rome that devastated the city. Needing a scapegoat, he placed the blame on Christians. The result was that Christians were beaten, tortured, and many were killed. Some were thrown into the arena, where they were torn apart by wild beasts. Others were boiled in oil, or encased in wax and burned at the stake like candles. For the better part of three centuries Christians would be persecuted. Until in 313 the Roman emperor Constantine issued the edict of Milan, declaring religious freedom for all faiths, including Christians.
Perhaps there is no more pertinent message the church needs to hear today than this one:
It will get worse before it gets better.
Some pastors we visiting over lunch and were talking about culture, faith, and the state of Christianity in general. One of the pastors said, “I think the best we can hope to do is to retard the spread of evil in our culture. We will not change this culture.”
Our hope is in the triumphant return of Jesus to this earth. Our hope is in the eternal life He promises. This world is not our home. We are pilgrims, strangers and sojourners. We will suffer here for a while. That cannot be avoided.
But after we have suffered for a little while . . . We will look at the last part of verse 10 tomorrow to see what will happen.
This is God Word … This is Grace for your Journey …
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”