Can you explain 1 Peter 5:8-10?
These three verses are in the middle of a paragraph that extends from 1 Peter 5:6-11. This is at the end of the letter in which most New Testament authors, including Peter, give commands based on what they have already written.
The letter of 1 Peter contains a lot of material about suffering for Christ’s sake and name. It also contains large sections on holiness. Peter calls Christians to live in humility, waiting to be exalted by God at the proper time (1 Peter 5:6). Part of that humility is to cast our cares on Jesus instead of taking care of them ourselves (1 Peter 5:7). His mighty hand will take care of the things we cast on him.
All of this is part of living in the last days. This is where verses 8-10 come into play. He calls us to be sober minded, or temperate, well-balanced. It’s so easy in the last days to take extreme sides or measures. We should look at every situation with a balance that comes from our humility in Christ.
But we must also be watchful because the enemy is looking to destroy our relationship with Christ. He will use whatever means at his disposal. He will be watching us and looking for weaknesses. This is one of the ways that he uses temptation, to try to find those weak spots that he can take advantage of.
Peter describes the devil as the false lion, roaring and trying to scare us. He seeks to devour us, to destroy our relationship with Jesus, the Lion of Judah. To this end, he will use temptation, peer pressure, persecution, and any other tactic he thinks might work.
Part of spiritual warfare is to resist him. This includes resisting temptation and every other strategy he uses against us. But resisting the devil isn’t just about temptation. It’s also about resisting the world system. He is the Prince of the Power of the Air (Ephesians 2:2). He rules during this present darkness.
To resist him also means that we actively spread the light of Jesus into this dark world. We shine as lights and reveal the truth because he deludes the minds of people in this world. We expose every evil act and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. These are some of the ways we can resist the devil.
James tells us to submit to God, and then to resist the devil (James 4:7-8). Through our submission and obedience to God we are resisting the devil. He cannot stand against us because greater is the one in us than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4).
The Holy Spirit is greater in us and the devil in the world cannot stand against us. Put on the full armor of God to resist him as well (Ephesians 6:10-20).
Peter specifically mentions standing firm in the faith (1 Peter 5:9). Faith here does not mean doctrine. It means standing in our trust of Jesus when these storms, trials, persecutions, and flaming arrows come from the devil.
Fellow believers in Christ, our brothers and sisters, experience the same attacks from the devil. We are not alone in the fight. Other Christians understand the fight that we take to the devil and the way he tries to fight back.
Peter says we will only suffer for a little while for Christ. He will come to our rescue (1 Peter 5:10). We must never forget when we suffer for Christ that we have a destiny in his eternal glory. We need not fear anything that comes our way from the devil. We can stand against it in the trust that Jesus has our eternal destiny in glory for us.
Through four actions, restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish, we trust that Jesus is taking care of us here on this earth and leading us to glory. This is why we can praise him in the midst of the trials of life (1 Peter 5:11).