ADVERSITY TO GODLY RELIEF

Adversity to Godly relief



The Apostle Peter starts out by writing to the younger and tells them to summit themselves to the elders but then he goes right into saying all of you be subject to one another. Then Peter goes straight to our heats by exhorting us to be clothed with humility because God resiseth the proud and giveth grace to the humble. This principle is so important to the passage that Peter continues and reiterates the same principle humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God that He might exalt us in due time.

Peter changes his tune a little in that if we are applying these biblical precepts and get anxiety we are to cast our care upon Him because God cares for us.

At this point Peter completely changes the subject in one of the most popular verses in the Bible. This is in a Christian context so the Apostle is writing to believers in Christ. He says be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil as a roaring lion who walks about seeking whom he may devour. Remember the book of Job in the Bible says, "And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence cometh thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it." Job 1:7. Notice the next verse because God points to one of His children. "And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and upright man, one that feareth God, and eschewed evil?" Job 1:8. Why didn't God point to an unbeliever? Because Satan already has a sinner. So far we read be humble, cast your care upon God and be sober and vigilant because the devil as a roaring lion seeks to destroy Christian souls.

Peter gives us the solution to this reality that happens every day. Think about this, we can either be devoured or resist steadfast in the faith. We are to realize that the very same afflictions are happening to our brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the whole world. If you will notice Peter talks about Christian suffering a lot but continues by telling us the God of all grace who called us unto His eternal glory by Jesus Christ. Notice the next part of the verse ... "After that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen and settle us as true believers in Christ. If a person's life is so smooth with no problems he or she should really question if they are a true Christian. Generally speaking we will not be able to say to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever unless we have been tried and sifted through circumstances from God Himself.

At this point Peter calls Silvanus a faithful brother to the audience he is writing to but he says this to testify that this is the true grace of God wherein you stand. He finishes with another body of believers, talks about another person that is dear to him, writes of love and ends with peace be with you that are in Christ Jesus. Let me just quote the original passage so you can read the text and perhaps make reference to it if need be in this particular study of the Bible.

"Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. (6) Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time: (7) Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you. (8) Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (9) Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same affictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. (10) But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Je`sus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. (11) To Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. (12) By Sil - va`nus, a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, I have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand. (13) The church that is at Bab`y-lon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Mar`cus my son. (14) Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Je`sus. Amen." 1 Peter 5:5 - 14.

The Apostle Peter is instructing the flock. First he exhorts those that are younger and inferior to submit themselves to the elder. Peter does not harp on this biblical principle but encourages one to another the rule is that they should all be subject one to another for the purpose of counsel and reproving in the love of Jesus Christ. He urges everyone in the fellowship to be clothed with humility. If a believer in Christ in the congregation is disobedient and proud God will set Himself to oppose him or her because He resists the proud but He does give grace to the humble. Pride is the worst sin a person can transgress against God but humility is the great preserver of peace and order in all Christian fellowships. There is obviously a mutual opposition between God and the proud. God gives grace to the humble and this is a continuous process where we will receive more grace if we stay or become more humble. If this being true which it is because the Bible teaches this precept then obviously we are to be humble to one another and God. Jesus Christ is our almighty God and can easily pull us down if we become proud but on the other hand He will exalt us if we are humble. If we do this the latter way then the Bible says we will be delivered and exalted.

It seems to me that Peter was telling this fellowship greater hardships would come their way as they followed Jesus Christ. He then writes about being anxious. If we develop a heavy burden we are to cast our care upon God. If we trust in our Lord Jesus Christ with a firm composed mind remember that the Bible tells us He careth for us. God is willing to release us of our care and actually take the care of us upon Himself. Most Christians labor under the burden of anxious and excessive care. This can be a very burdensome thing and often turns into sin. This is why this passage in verse seven says cast our care upon God. There is something so special about the mercy of God that calms the spirit in a person.

In verse eight Peter shows them their danger from an enemy and he describes the adversary. He describes the devil as the grand accuser of all the brethren. He is a roaring lion and a fierce pursuer of souls. Satan will never be satisfied with anything or anyone because he is miserable. He walks about seeking whom he may devour for the purpose of destroying lives and eternities. He does not care because he is filled with hatred which has to be feed over again and again as opposed to love which rests in peace. We as Christians are just numbers to him as if the devil needs any more people in his possession. We as Christians are to be sober, vigilant and watchful to prevent his evil designs. We are to resist him steadfast in the faith because he wants our "Faith" in Jesus Christ. When this happens to us we will go through a strong trial and temptation but must resist him by being steadfast through our faith in Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Peter reminds them because their fellow solders were also in this warfare. The devil is the great persecutor as well as the deceiver and accuser of the brethren. Sobriety and watchfulness are necessary virtues at all times, not just sometimes. I will but sometimes I will not does not work because when we let our spiritual guard down we could be attacked by the devil or some of his minions. If our faith in Jesus Christ is not very strong one of the wisest things we can do is to confess to Jesus Christ and let Him build us up in Him. If our faith is not strong then this is an opportunity for the devil to play havoc on us as Christians.

Peter is now closing this particular epistle with a great prayer praising the God of all grace. The Apostle praises them by writing after they had suffered awhile God would perfect His work in them. If we are called to be heirs of eternal life through Jesus Christ we must suffer in this world but let us be honest in light of eternity this is only for a short time. It is so clear because in light of everything Peter writes we should be praying continuously and depending on His promises for us as believers in Jesus Christ.

In verse twelve Peter is almost closed in speaking to his audience. He talks about the grace of God but encourages them to embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ and continue steadfast in this precious salvation. If we are truly on our way to heaven we will stand fast through our faith in Jesus Christ. Peter recommends Silvanus because he was the messenger of this epistle. Some of the audience that Peter was writing to had doubts about Silvanus but Peter sets the record straight and they did become convinced he was a faithful brother in Christ. 

We should have a Godly affection to our brothers and sisters in Christ with pureness. At the very end the Apostle Peter writes ... " Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen." The very last verse is fourteen. This was a very encouraging epistle.

If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your very own personal Savior and Lord now may be a good time to repent of all your sins and invite the Son of God into your life. The Bible is so honest and accurate and this is where we get truth. Jesus Christ Himself is truth. I never regretted accepting Jesus Christ into my life. It is the wisest decision that any human being can choose to make not only for our life but for our eternity. I hope and pray you just made that decision.

God bless you,
Bob D

     

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