weekly devotional

12-8-21

1 PETER 5

When suffering and hardship come, we feel broken by the challenging experiences that we don't know how to process. Broken by depths of the emotional pain in our life. Broken by the idea "This isn't fair" and "I don't deserve this." We try to kick it out the door, get over it, deal with it and move on, only to find that it has made its way back into our life. This process brings its levels of brokenness as we get excited each time we deal with it. Each time, we perceive we have taken a significant step in the right direction and finally kicked our pain and suffering out of our life. But the disappointment and letdown of it finding it was never really gone sinks our hopes lower and sends our anxiety through the roof. After repeated attempts to move past our struggles, we sometimes come to a place where we believe "there is no hope of life apart from this pain." 


1 Peter 5:6-7 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because he cares for you.”


In many senses, this may feel like a cheap trick. Perhaps your response is, "I have done this; it hasn't worked." Many times, believers point to scripture as a quick answer or an immediate solution to solve your problems. Know their heart is in the right place. Know that this verse is not mentioned as a "solution" to your brokenness. Instead, it is a reminder of your posture before the Lord. God is our hope. Our relationship and posture before Him are the most significant parts of our lives that we need to pay close attention to. This verse reminds us that no matter what is happening, anxiety, depression, the pain of loss, hardship, or circumstances, you need to humble yourself before God. God cares, and God will act on your behalf. Be patient and remind yourself daily to rest in His hands. He doesn't pretend like this will be easy or comfortable, but you will have to be deliberate. But there is good reason to do so; keep reading the passage: 


1 Peter 5:8-9 “Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.”


There is good reason to trust God. Good reason to humble yourself before God. Good reason to rest in His presence every day, trusting Him to lead and guide you. Satan is out to harm you, and he preys on the weak, those who have been beaten down, those who are hurting. The reason is that when we are vulnerable, we are more likely to do something we will later regret. Satan is more intelligent and craftier than any human being. For our safety and posture before the Lord, we need to be intentional about giving God all we have to offer every day. 


1 Peter 5:10-11 “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, Who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To Him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”


God has not abandoned you. God is there for you and wants you to lean on Him in the good times and the bad. In pain and suffering, in anxiety and depression, we need to trust God. We need to be humble before Him and know that He is using it to grow and mature us and help us understand deeper issues in life. Not only that, but He will bring us through and restore us Himself. It is amazing to think that the God of all creation, the high king of heaven, would take the time to help me in my troubles. To work on me while I am buried in grief and emotional pain. That God, in a very personal way, would invest in my life. His promise is more significant yet that He will not only "restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish," but it will be for all eternity. That He is our great hope, and in Him, we can find our true identity where we are made whole forever. No more pain, no more suffering, every tear wiped away, forever with our Lord and savior. Because of what Jesus did on the cross, we can have hope for the future. Jesus is our great hope; that through Him, we can receive the promises of God. 


Suffering is hard, it is day after day, and we don’t know when it will end. But we can choose God each day. We can choose to allow Him to do the work in us and lead us, looking forward to the day of His great promise. Keep your head up, stay focused on the Lord, know what He has promised you. 


Action Step: 

1.  Read John 19:1-37

         a.  Spend time reflecting on this passage and what it means for your life. 

         b.  Pray and ask God to help you better trust Him. Pray for a stronger faith with greater hope.