Read: 1 Peter 5:8-11
Key Verse: v10
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.
What Does it Mean?
Peter was writing to Christians at a time when they faced much persecution and difficulties, and he didn’t mince his words. Although in the Western world Christians do not face the same kind of trials as our first century compadres, Peter’s words still hold true for us. In verse 8, Peter reminds us that the devil prowls around like a hungry lion, looking for ways to trip us up and make us more vulnerable to his attacks. We have to be mindful of this. And, yet, at the same time, Peter encourages us to remain steadfast – a word that in the Greek means to resist, hold firm. Not only that, but we can be sure that God is the source of our strength. We have the promise, in verse 10, that God will make us strong, firm and steadfast – or, as the King James Version translates, “perfect, establish[ed], strengthen[ed], settle[d]”. The word translated perfect can mean adjust, fit, finish, complete, but its fundamental meaning is to put a thing in its appropriate condition, to establish, set up, equip, arrange, prepare, mend. And the word translated settle in Greek means to found, to lay the foundation of something. When we look at the deeper meanings of the words Peter chose to us, we see that yes, the devil is always going to be prowling around trying to knock us off course, but through God we have a solid foundation, and from that solid foundation, God promises to equip and prepare us, and mend our broken places so that we are complete in Him. The devil can roar, but we can remain steadfast in the face of whatever he throws at us, knowing that God’s promises for our future outweigh the difficulties of our present.
Although the devil prowls around the earth looking for opportunities to cause us to stumble, we have God’s promise that despite times of trial, He will “make [us] perfect, establish, strengthen, settle [us]” (v10, KJV). In the heat of the trials, we often can’t see how any good can come from our difficulties, but God’s Word is a sure foundation upon which we can depend. If God promises to make us strong, firm and steadfast (NIV), then we can be sure that He will do it, and it is holding onto the promises that are still ahead of us that gives us the hope we need to hold on.
Journaling and Reflection
- Peter warns us to be vigilant (v8, KJV) because the devil is always on the lookout for ways to bring us down. How can this verse help you to prepare for the devil’s schemes? What does being vigilant mean in practice?
- God promises to make us strong, firm and steadfast. How can this promise help you hold on when you are facing difficulties? How do you feel about this promise?
Lord God, thank you that although we face many difficulties as we journey through life, You strengthen and sustain us, and set us on a firm foundation from which we can approach our challenges. Help us to remain vigilant and aware of the devil’s schemes, but not fearful, trusting in You to equip, prepare and complete us. Amen