“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” 1 Peter 5:8-10
It is true that God’s people will come under attack. It could be the world, the flesh or the devil; it may be all three at once, but if you stand in the name of Jesus Christ you will suffer. I think of those who have suffered to bring us our Bible. Being burned at the stake, cut into pieces and other horrible, torturous deaths, all because they stood for the word of God…that many of us let sit on the shelf and collect dust. I think of the early church fathers, fathers of our nation and great preachers and missionaries through the ages that have sacrificed homes, wealth, prosperity and family life to bring to us the faith and gospel of Jesus Christ. Many times their homes being burned or seized by the government and their businesses closed. There are many Christians today fighting to preserve the faith once delivered to the saints. We live in a society where even churches and so called pastors have so perverted the truths of God’s word, that the world is now in a religious spin cycle, not knowing what to believe. The end result is people discouraged and disowning the faith, then, seeking some relief and joy, they give themselves over to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life. Sometimes it get tough to go on in an environment where the devil is roaming like a roaring lion.
In this passage of scripture, God gives us the blessings of those that will press on and hold fast in times of suffering.
- He will make you perfect = this means complete, mature, as a vegetable comes to ripen for the harvest. Suffering has a way of teaching us truths we would have never learned in the fields of comfort and ease.
- Stablish you = this is the root word for establish. Meaning to set fast, to confirm. When you suffer in Christ, it develops a sense of firmness in our cause. One would not give their blood, sweat and tears for a cause, only to wonder if he really is committed to it. Suffering causes us to commit to Christ.
- Strengthen you = as the Olympic athlete exercises in his or her discipline and becomes stronger, better and more efficient; so does the Christian who fights for Christ. Suffering and trials are the weights, treadmill and exercise equipment that makes us strong for battle. It is what produces champions for Christ.
- Settle you = this word means, to lay a base/foundation so something can later be erected. It is the foundation of the house, the pilings & support of the skyscraper buildings of the city. Sufferings lays a foundation in us so that later in life God has a place to build a strong spiritual building on. Sufferings clear out the brush, excavate the ground of our hearts so God can use us to help some troubled soul in the future. God may be preparing you for some important church ministry, to which through your suffering, you bring glory and honor to the name of Christ.
Child of God, understand that God can use even the worst of circumstances for his glory. God never causes sin, God never is instrument to evil; this world is evil and corrupt, but God can use anything and anyone for his glory. Suffering is the University of all Gods greatest leaders; Moses in the desert, Joseph in the jail, Daniel in the Lion’s Den, Ruth destitute of a kinsmen redeemer, Ester in fear of her life, Paul being beaten and thrown in jail…..the list continues, but the truth is settled… after suffering, God will make you great for him. Hold fast!