The Right Response to Afflictions 1 Peter 5:9 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Many of us are going through or have gone through afflictions. Notice in 1 Pet 5:9 the mention of the afflictions that are accomplished in your brethren. In 1 Pet 5:5-10 we find the right response to afflictions.
Humble yourself – 1 Pet 5:6 – in affliction, it is easy to get lifted up in pride because the pain and grief of the afflictions keep your mind on you and what you are suffering. Since the Lord is the one who could remove the affliction, you might get lifted up against him and get angry at him. Stay low; Stay humble. He will exalt you “in due time.” Only he knows when this will be.
Cast your care upon God – 1 Pet 5:7 – God cares for you. You can’t carry the weight of these cares upon yourself. You must give them to God. By staying humble and by casting all your care upon him, you will stay close to him and your fellowship with him will grow sweeter.
Resist the devil – 1 Pet 5:8-9 – when you are in affliction, you are very vulnerable to attacks by the devil. He is very clever and he is very subtle. He knows just how and when to attack a person weakened by affliction. Be sober, be vigilant. Stay strong in your faith and resist the devil by the whole armor of God.
Remember others are afflicted, too – 1 Pet 5:9 – your brethren are going through things just like you are and people in the world are going through the same things, as well… only they don’t have the Lord to care for them and to protect them like we do. It helps to know there are others in need and that they are making it through their affliction. We can learn from them and be comforted by them.
God will strengthen you – 1 Pet 5:10 – you are going to suffer a while. And “a while” with God might be longer than you think. But the Lord will strengthen you and perfect you through the affliction. When you come out on the other side, you will look back and realize that you are much better for having endured the affliction than if you had never gone through it.
God will give you hope – Rom 5:3-5 – people in affliction often become hopeless. But the progress of affliction and tribulation is first, patience. After patience comes experience. And then experience yields hope. In other words, as you endure the affliction and follow what Peter tells you to do, hope comes in time. And this is not necessarily hope that the affliction will lift or that your circumstance will change. It is simply hope in God who loves you and whom you love and of whom you are not ashamed. One saved woman said, “I’m not hopeless and I’m not hopeful. I just hope.” The Lord is our hope.
Conclusion: In a time of deep distress, when Ziklag had been destroyed, David encouraged himself in the Lord. His circumstances were still bad. His wives and family had been captured, his possessions had been stolen and his men had suffered a similar fate. On top of that they had spoken of stoning him. Yet, David, who evidently had been accustomed to seeking help from the Lord in times of distress, encouraged himself in the Lord. We should encourage ourselves in the Lord, as well, as we follow these responses to affliction.