5. Stand firm in your faith
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7 NIV
This verse often reminds us to give all our cares, worries and concerns to God.
While it is true that one must give everything to God, when one digs a little deeper, one learns that this passage was written for the persecuted Christians living in Asia Minor.
Peter wrote this as a way to encourage them to keep doing what they were doing, and in doing so, that God would take care of them.
He said, “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that in due time he may lift you up” (1 Peter 5:6 NIV). He warns them to watch out for the devil, to stand firm in their faith, and assures them that they are not alone in this fight – “the same kind of suffering is being experienced by others in the world”. 1 Peter 5:8 NIV
Then he concludes with some positive news: “After you all have suffered a little while, God will…. restore you, confirm you, strengthen you and strengthen you”. 1 Peter 5:9 NIV
It is probably safe to assume that you are not experiencing any real persecution. You may be struggling to fit in or are concerned about “canceled culture,” but is your life in danger because of your faith? Unfortunately, there are places where this is still the case.
Even if you were born in a place where persecution is not present, you may feel the pressure of controversial issues, when world opinion goes against what the Bible says (John 17:13-19 ).
In this case, we need to take those fears of being “cancelled” and give them to God. Now is the time to stand up for what is true, and not shut up or be ashamed of your beliefs.
By doing so, you can be sure that God will restore you, confirm you, strengthen you, and establish you!
The whole Bible is useful to us today
“All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and instructing in righteousness, so that the servant of God will be fully equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV
The next time you are presented with a single verse, I urge you to look it up and understand its full meaning. If you don’t know how to do this, remember that it starts with reading the verses around it, and discovering and learning about the intended audience. Then you can discern why the author wrote to them.
Even when a passage does not directly apply to us, we can still glean useful information about God, and we can be assured that what he did then for those people, he will do for us now. .
“Remember your rulers, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the result of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hebrews 13:7-8 NIV
Photo credit: ©Ben White/Unsplash