No one likes to go through trials. Have you ever asked God to strengthen your faith by having more suffering in life? I know I haven't, in fact I used to joke that a person shouldn't pray for patience. I would joke that if a person prayed for patience they were sure to have difficult situations come their way. I don't joke about that any more because I really do want to show the fruit of the Spirit in my life so I pray that God prune and shape me so that I bear fruit that pleases Him. I still don't want difficulty in life, but the reality is that here on earth there will be pain and difficulty and we can pray that God grows us through those times. But we also need to be praying for ourselves and other believers that we can resist temptation during those difficult times and instead turn to God and lean on Him. Please turn to 1 Peter 5:6-11.
This section of scripture reminds us that when we humble ourselves and lean on God we can make it through our trials and sufferings. It is through God's mighty power that we are able to grow and stand firm. Do you see any similarities in this section of scripture with Ephesians 6:10-18? Ephesians 6:10 says, "Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power." Our strength comes from God. Depending on God's strength and mighty power truly requires humility because we need to acknowledge that our own strength is not enough. I can be very independent and I hate asking for help; however, I have come to a point where I am handing much more of my battles over to Him. It is okay to admit that I don't have the ability or answers to situations I face and it is okay to call out to God for help. According to 1 Peter 5:7, we can come to God with everything.
Ephesians 6:13 says, "Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm." 1 Peter 5:8-9 reminds us who are enemy is. We are told to stay alert because he "prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." I know the times in life when I have been side-swiped have been the times when I have gotten comfortable and put down my guard. When we put on the armor of God, we are preparing ourselves and keeping our guard up for the times when our enemy attacks.
We have hope! 1 Peter 5:10 says, "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." (NIV). One of my favorite verses in the Bible helped me through a difficult time. 2 Corinthians 4:17 says, "For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!" (NLT). We can stand firm in our trials knowing that God is going to use them to change us and produce something so much greater than ourselves. We can stand firm knowing that it is not our strength that will get us through the trials, but it is God's strength.
Are you humbling yourself and relying on and praying for God's strength? Are you remembering the hope that we have of what God is doing in us through our trials?