Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 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. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 5:8-11 (NIV)
Strong, Firm And Steadfast
Are you weaker or are you stronger because you have endured suffering? Do you have lesser or greater faith because you have experienced trials? Have your relied on me less or more because you have been under attack by the devil and all his evil? Has suffering and trials and evil attacks caused you to be less or more self-controlled, alert, watchful and on guard? Are you more powerfully resisting evil and standing firm in your faith because of what you have had to endure in this life? Have you thought that it is strange that you have had to endure hardship? Have you felt that you are the only one who has had to go through great difficulty? Finally, my last question, is your relationship with me less or more intimate because of all the troubles and trials you have gone through in life? Alright, I see where all your questions are headed. I get the point that you are making. You are a quick study. Tell me what is the point that I am making. This life is filled with pain and suffering. I can expect to come under attack. You suffered. I will suffer. You endured attacks. I will endure attacks. No pain or suffering or trials or attacks of evil are unique to me. I am not alone. I am not the only one. So, I need not have any poor me attitude about them. What I need to do is be self-controlled and alert, watchful and on guard. I need to draw near to you in every adversity I will face in life. You will be with me to help me. You will sustain and strengthen me. You will make me strong and firm and steadfast in every trial I face. You will encourage me. My faith in you will grow stronger as I more fully come to rely on you. My life with you will grow more intimate as I allow you to be my rock and fortress and deliver. I can take shelter in you. Even though I do not like pain and sufferings and trails, you will use them to accomplish your purposes and fulfill your plans in my life. So, I will trust you. I will rely on you. I will ask for your help. I will draw near to you as you draw near to me in every adversity in life. You do understand the point I was making. Yes, I do. That is very good.
Lord, I will remain self-controlled and alert. I will be watchful and on guard against the devil and all his evil attacks. I will not think it strange that I am going through suffering in this life. I will rely on you fully to make me strong, firm and steadfast in every trial. Amen
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