In God We Trust
6 So be humble under God’s powerful hand. Then he will lift you up when the right time comes. 7 Give all your worries to him, because he cares for you.
8 Control yourselves and be careful! The devil is your enemy, and he goes around like a roaring lion looking for someone to attack and eat. 9 Refuse to follow the devil. Stand strong in your faith. You know that your brothers and sisters all over the world are having the same sufferings that you have.
10 Yes, you will suffer for a short time. But after that, God will make everything right. He will make you strong. He will support you and keep you from falling. He is the God who gives all grace. He chose you to share in his glory in Christ. That glory will continue forever. 11 All power is his forever. Amen. 1 Peter 5:6-11 ERV
Ask just about anyone what they think is most important in a relationship- whether business, friendship, or romantic- and somewhere very close to the top of the list will be TRUST.
It explains why so many people today are done with the institutions in our country. We are done with fake news, misleading advertising, politics, propaganda, and big tech platforms. We want to connect with people and institutions who genuinely care about us, that share our same values, that we can identify with. But in this day and age it’s hard to know who or what to trust.
Only it’s not.
Pastor’s message this week in The Journey series was from 1 Peter 5:6-11. In this passage, Peter is writing to fellow Christians during a time of intense persecution by the Romans and Emperor Nero. One of the ways Christians were martyred was to be “Condemned to the Beasts.” Being condemned to the beasts was a particularly grisly end. It meant that you and your companions would be exposed in the Colosseum arena to a variety of wild and ferocious animals, such as leopards, boars, and yes, lions. The crowds would then watch as these poor souls were hunted and ripped apart before their eyes.
Peter describes Satan as a lion on the prowl, looking for someone to devour. It is a picture the people of the day would have understood clearly (and I'm not talking Nat Geo here). It would definitely impress upon their minds that as great as the threat of persecution for the Christian is, the threat of the spiritual attacks of Satan are just as great.
Peter doesn’t sugar coat anything for these new believers. In fact, he goes on to write , “yes, you will suffer” at the hands of Satan during their life here on earth.
That’s honesty. God’s Holy Spirit guided the writers of the Bible to be completely honest with what the cost of following Him will be. He doesn’t try to make it look prettier or easier than it really will be. The struggle is gonna be real.
He’s up front with us. He lays it out in four little words. “Yes, you will suffer.”
We serve a trustworthy God. And if He’s honest about the suffering, then we can trust He’s honest about the promise. “Yes, you will suffer for a short time. But after that, God will make everything right. He will make you strong. He will support you and keep you from falling. He is the God who gives all grace. He chose you to share in his glory in Christ. That glory will continue forever. ”
Pastor said “Martyrdom is not being devoured by the devil. Being devoured by the devil is believing my unbelief instead of God. Being devoured by the devil is acting on my fears, retreating from mission, careless living, allowing the pressures of the world to be internalized and move me away from Christ.”
It is hard to know who and what to trust in in today’s world. Only it’s not. We have a trustworthy God. There are times our faith must outlast the circumstances we find ourselves in. I have the promise of an almighty God who is in total control, who rules over my life.
If I humble myself under His mighty hand, find rest in the shadow of His wings, run to Him as my refuge, I find new strength and mount up with the wings of eagles, and feast in the presence of my enemies!
I have the blessing of His presence now and the promise that I will be with Him soon!
I’ll close with one last quote from Pastor’s message. “The devil and world powers think they are in control. All they can ever have is temporary power, temporary money, temporary thrills. Each and every moment the clock is ticking. Their kingdoms are failing as they, like dogs in a junkyard, fight over bones and garbage.”