It’s hard to believe that this is the last post for 1 Peter: Finding Encouragement in Troubling Times by Sue Edwards.
Peter wrapped up this epistle beautifully with the reminder that we desperately need each other. This week’s study focused on Peter’s discussion regarding how the old and young of the church must relate to one another to truly succeed and grow as the body of Christ. Quite simply, those who are older must encourage and strengthen the younger while the younger must submit to and learn from the older. But all must do so in humility and ultimate submission to the Lord Jesus Christ.
But the middle of 1 Peter 5 reminds us just why it is so important to be unified through encouragement, training, and accountability. The enemy is prowling and hungers to devour us. Without one another, we cannot survive.
There were two primary focuses for me as I walked through this final lesson.
1 Peter 5:9 commands us to stand firm and resist the devil. This is really the summary of the “troubling times” that Peter is referring to throughout his letter. There will be difficult times that hit us in the form of disease and other such hardship, but the main focus here is the difficult times that will come through persecution and hardships brought on by standing out as believers in Christ. It all comes to naught if we allow ourselves to be devoured by the “roaring lion” of 1 Peter 5:8. We must maintain alertness by being in the Word, being in constant prayer, and being reminded that while we stand, so do others around the world. We are a body. We are not alone!
Which leads directly into the second focus: relationships. In 1 Peter 5:12, Peter mentions Silas and refers to him as his brother. Within the church our relationships have to be so much more than simply friendships and acquaintances. These cannot simply be the people we enjoy spending time with now and then. These people have to be nothing less than true family! Throughout 1 Peter, we have read and studied through one instruction after another regarding our interaction with each other, but the true depth of it shows up here. We must have people we are willing to be accountable to. We must have people who are willing to hold us up, strengthen us, admonish us, teach us, and help us learn humility and true submission. If we are not living with relationships such as those within the church, then we must actively work to grow that! Oh how we need each other!
I have barely scratched the surface each week of what each lesson has walked through. I have simply highlighted the things that stood out to me most prominently. If you are a woman looking for something to help you dig into the Bible but don’t have the flexibility to spend hours on end each week, I would definitely recommend one of Sue Edwards’ studies. While there is still much more depth to explore in a book like 1 Peter, this study definitely points you in the right direction.
This study was sent to me by Kregel Publications in exchange for my participation in this graduated blog tour. I am not required to respond positively to the study.