Lent Devotional: 1 Peter 5:6-11

by Jonathan Haefs

1 Peter 5:6-11
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. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 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.

Reflection
Our lives are all too often filled with anxieties. Why? What is at the root of our anxious hearts?

Peter seems to think it is misplaced trust. The anxious heart is relying upon oneself, totally unsure of whether or not it can control or conquer what lies ahead… thus… anxiety. Peter sees this as prideful-self-reliance. Therefore, his instruction is for us to humble ourselves… how? By casting our cares upon Christ instead of on ourselves! Trust Christ with our lives! Rely on and rest in him… for we know he is for our good!

Cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you!

Yet, this does not mean that we become completely passive people! Peter is not advising us to “let go, and let God.” Oh no! Right after telling us to cast all our anxieties upon God… he gives active commands. “Be sober-minded; be watchful… resist the devil!”

But Peter… won’t that be me relying upon my strength again! Won’t that just stir up all my anxieties as I worry whether or not I will be watchful enough or powerful enough to resist the schemes of the enemy! I thought I was supposed to cast these cares upon God?

I think these questions make Peter grin… because it is precisely through our faith in God that God himself empowers our being sober-minded and watchful! It is through relying upon God’s grace that we are empowered to resist!

Grace doesn’t make us passive, it provides power!

Peter says that God himself will “restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” This is why God gets the glory anytime we successfully resist the enemy! Because we couldn’t do that in our own power… only in his!

This is why God gets the glory when we are not anxious, because we are trusting in him to provide all we need, no matter what we face! We are trusting him to get us all the way through!

Oh Christian, do not trust in yourself to face the trials of life, but cast all these anxieties upon your heavenly Father who has promised to provide all you need through Christ! Therefore, you can take another step, you can be sober minded and watchful, you can resist the enemy… because you trust that your father is graciously empowering your action… for your good and his glory!

His grace does not eliminate your action… it empowers it!

 
*All previous devotionals may be found at www.thejoyofglory.com
*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.

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