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After You Have Suffered for a Little

February 22, 2017

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After You Have Suffered for a Little

Peter was the Apostle  who learned the hard way  what it was like  to fall into sin  —  just because  of his fear.     When Jesus was on trial  for His life,  Peter followed behind  to see  what was happening.     When bystanders saw  that Peter was a follower  of Jesus,  they approached him  about it.     In fear for his life  —  and with cursing  and swearing  —  three times Peter denied that he ever knew Jesus.     The cock crowed.

Then Peter was greatly ashamed  and wept.     He wept  because he knew  Jesus was the promised Messiah,  our Savior.     He wept  because he knew  Jesus loved him dearly.     He wept  because not long before that time,  he had loudly declared  that he would bravely stand up  for Jesus,  even if all the other disciples  fell away.

Later,  Peter was forgiven  and strengthened  in the Lord.     But,  he never forgot  our vulnerability to fall into sin.     There is no one  who can claim  they will never fall  into sin.

Because we are all susceptible  to sin  every day  —  in unexpected circumstances  —  Peter felt urged  to tell us  about it,  so we will not be caught unaware.     In 1 Peter 5:8-10, he writes,

Be  of sober spirit,  be  on the alert.     Your adversary,  the devil,  prowls about  like a roaring lion,  seeking someone  to devour.

But resist him,  firm in your faith,  knowing  that the same experiences  of suffering  are being accomplished  by your brethren  who are in the world.

And after  you have suffered  for a little,  the God of all grace,  who called you  to His eternal glory  in Christ,  will Himself  perfectconfirmstrengthen  and establish you.

Peter is warning us  that we cannot afford  to fool around  in this world.     We’ve got to constantly be  on the alert  for the devil’s  sneaky temptations.     Because the devil knows us  very well,  he knows  our weaknesses.     He knows how  to make us think  God is not taking care  of our needs  or that God  does not answer prayers.

The devil knows how  to make us  so ashamed  that we think God  will not forgive us.     But,  God is always longing  to forgive us.     He is “the God  of all grace”.     We should not let the devil  shame us  into denying  that truth.

The truth is  that God  has called all of us  to put our faith  in Christ,  so that all  of our sins  will be washed away  and we will be able  to live with Him  in eternal glory.     Paul talks about that  in Ephesians 2:8,  where he says,

For by grace  you have been saved  through faith;  and that  not of yourselves,  it is the gift  of God.

The only way  we can resist  the devil  in all temptations is  to remember  what God has said  on that subject.     For example,  if the devil  is tempting us  with greed,  remember  what God has to say  about greed.     If we don’t remember  exactly what God has said, we can look it up  through any of the Bible search sites  on the Internet.     We need to learn God’s word well enough  to face  any temptation.

When we are tempted,  we also need to remember  that we are not the only ones  who have been tempted.     Absolutely everyone  is tempted every day.     God is fully aware  of the suffering  we are going through  with our temptations.     And He has promised  to help us  as we learn  to trust in Him  and His ways.

Peter knew that,  so he said,  “And after  you have suffered  for a little,  the God of all grace,  who called you  to His eternal glory  in Christ,  will Himself  perfectconfirmstrengthen  and establish you.”

Because God has given us  this call  to have faith  in Him,  He will use the temptations we have faced  to eventually make us perfect  in His sight,  as we learn  to stand firm  on God’s word.

God will cause our leaning  on Him  to confirm our faith  —  so that the temptation  won’t destroy us,  but will make us more sure  of God’s love  for us.

As we resist each  and every temptation,  God will strengthen us  to face coming temptations  with a greater faith  and love  for our Lord.

And in the end,  God will establish us firmly  in the true faith,  so that our confidence  in Him  is filled with love  and joy.

Because God knows how  to do all this  for us,  it is totally worth it  to resist the devil  in every temptation,  and trust  in the Lord,  our Savior.

Then,  as we look back  on all that God has done  for us,  we will say,  “Hallelujah!     The Lord is my Deliverer.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional  to glorify  the LORD of lords  and GOD of gods.

Pray for our country.

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Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus

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The LORD  made this day, let us rejoice  and be glad  in Him.

Psalm 118:24

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The word of the LORD is tried;

He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.

Psalm 18:30

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Sing for joy  in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;

Praise is becoming  to the upright.

Psalm 33:1

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How blessed are those  who dwell  in Thy house!

They are ever praising Thee.

Psalm 84:4

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Just as a father  has compassion  on his children,

So the LORD  has compassion  on those who fear Him.

Psalm 103:13

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O give thanks  to the LORD,  for He is good;

For His lovingkindness  is everlasting.

Psalm 107:1

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Glory in His holy name;

Let the heart  of those who seek the LORD  be glad.

Psalm 105:3

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Not that I have already obtained it,  or have already  become perfect,   but I press on  in order that  I may  lay hold  of that  for which also  I was laid hold of  by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12

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