Read 1 Peter 5
To the Elders and the Flock
5 To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: 2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.
5 In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,
“God opposes the proud
but shows favor to the humble.”
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
12 With the help of Silas,[b] whom I regard as a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it.
13 She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark. 14 Greet one another with a kiss of love.
Peace to all of you who are in Christ.
With the close of this letter, Peter has one last chance to sum up what he really wants these believers to hear. What stands out specifically is the fact that Peter acknowledges that we have a very real enemy who is actively “seeking someone to devour” (v. 8). More often than not, it is easy to forget that we even have an enemy, let alone that spiritual warfare exists. Which is exactly what our enemy wants! Don’t you think that if he can convince us that he does not exist, then we are more likely to fall prey to his schemes? If you are playing a game, you are more likely to win if you know who your opponent is and what they are like. Therefore, let’s make it a priority to remind ourselves of our enemy and get to know him.
So how do we stand against the enemy? Peter tells us to be sober-minded and alert, which means to watch for him and anticipate how he might ensnare you. He then goes on to say that we should resist him, stand firm in our faith, and know that we are not alone in our suffering. There is a daily war for the battle of our souls. It is going to take more than just acknowledging that the devil exists. We must also be ready for battle. We can do this through diving into God’s Word, consistent prayer, and actively confessing to other believers our sin so that it no longer has hold on our life.
While recognizing that we are in a battle can lead to feelings of anxiety and despair, the closing verse of this chapter brings absolute comfort to our souls. Peter closes by saying “peace to all you who are in Christ” (v. 14). This is what sets us apart as believers: peace. In the midst of trials and sufferings, we have access to unshakeable and undeniable peace. Jehovah Shalom is a name of God that tells us the Lord is peace. It is His nature! We cannot resist the enemy by ourselves. Thankfully, the Lord of all creation is on our side, equipping us to resist and stand firm, and filling our hearts with peace. Then, after we have “suffered for a little while”, God Himself will restore us (v. 10). Let’s praise God today for His future plan to restore us and His ever-present help in the interim.
- When was the last time you considered that you have an enemy who is out to get you? How does remembering this change how you live daily?
- If the devil were to tempt you to sin today, how do you think he would do it? This question helps us to be on guard for areas in which we are more susceptible to sin.
- The Bible often talks about suffering being for our good. In what ways do you feel like the Lord may be using your current situation for your good?
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