Suffer a Little While, Know God Will Establish You
Section 6.4 of 1 Peter (1 Peter 5:8-11)
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert.
Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.
After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.
To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.
This closing to the lengthy conclusion of Peter’s letter is both a warning, and a comfort. The fourth sub-section of the sixth section of the First Letter of Peter begins with Peter’s repeated theme, “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” After having said all that he has, Peter is wrapping things up with a warning to watch for the one that is behind all their trials. When there are great times of trial and difficulty, we will be tested. It is in those hard times that we can lose control of ourselves, and allow temptation to draw us out. Peter is telling them to be aware of this. “But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.” Peter here is letting these isolated groups know that they are not the only ones who are going through such trials.
He brings this up at an interesting point here. After warning about the devil lurking in such circumstances, he does not simply tell them to be firm in their faith. His mentioning of their need to stay firm in their faith comes within the context of the greater church. He lets them know that they are not alone in their suffering. Throughout His letter, he I calling them all to come together both in unity and in faith, knowing what their inheritance is and what is to come. Here, we see him trying to pull them out of their immediate reality and revealing to them that they are not alone. There are others who are experiencing the same thing. You are not alone. For any who have struggled, we all know how reassuring and comforting it is realize that you are not the only one who is experiencing some great difficulty or hardship. As Christians experiencing persecution for faith in God, we must always remember that we are not the only ones who are experiencing such things. Every day there are people around this world, full of faith, who are experiencing the same, if not, then worse persecutions than what you may be going through. They stand strong in their faith, and so must you! Take heart!
“After you have suffered for a little while…” and truly, it is always for a little while within the context of our guaranteed eternity with God in the life that is to come, “…the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” What more needs to be said? “To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.” Indeed.