As we have seen already, Peter wrote against the backdrop of persecution. The great-controversy theme wasn’t just abstract theology to his readers; they were experiencing it in a way that many of us have not, at least for now.
The book of Revelation reveals that Christians play a part in a cosmic battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil. In Revelation, the forces of good are led by Jesus, who is the Word of God, the King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev. 19:13, Rev. 19:16). The forces of evil are led by the devil, also called Satan and pictured as a dragon (Rev. 12:7-9; Rev. 20:7-8). Though popular media and even some Christians deny the reality of Satan, the fact is that the devil is a powerful being who has only evil intentions for us. Yet, the good news is that the devil will ultimately be destroyed at the end (Rev. 20:9-10).
Peter does not diminish the danger the devil represents. The devil is like a roaring lion that is looking to devour all whom he can (1 Pet. 5:8). Peter points out, too, that his readers can see the power of the devil in their own present suffering. Yet, this suffering will end in eternal glory (1 Pet. 5:10).
Read 1 Peter 5:10 again. What is Peter saying to us there?
Though we don’t know the exact nature of their trials, what we can see is the hope that Peter expresses. Yes, the devil is real. The battle is real, and our sufferings are real. But the “God of all grace” has defeated the devil. So whatever we are suffering, if we remain faithful-even unto death (see Heb. 11:13-16)-victory is assured, thanks to Jesus.
|How can we learn to hold on in faith, enduring to the end, regardless of what comes our way?|