"Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of suffering."
1 Peter 5:8-9 (NIV)
1. The fight of faith
Every single person will face trouble in their life however, faith lives above the problems that challenge us. We need to remember that every time we praise, we magnify God. Not only that, but it helps to provide perspective on our challenges, as every time we praise, we diminish our problems.
We think our problems come as a result of our circumstances, but it’s more substantial than that. Our struggle is a spiritual one against evil spirits (Ephesians 6:12-13). We are always going to be facing challenges. But the Bible says the Lord delivers you from them all. Trials are used to strengthen us. Every time we exercise that muscle of resisting and standing, we grow it. We need to recognise that it is not the time to give up, but to stand up. We need to say “I’m going to beat this thing in Jesus’ name”.
The enemy of our soul wants to destroy it. He will use his whole arsenal and a multitude of schemes. There are plans to take us away from our walk with Jesus. The temptation of short-lived pleasure doesn’t counter balance the long term feelings of condemnation, guilt, and shame we might have as a result. Feelings which would want to make us walk away. But yet we stand! We stand before the throne of God and claim the mercy of God. We are not standing in our own righteousness, but the new righteousness which has been given to us.
2. The armour of God helps us withstand
There are times when we’ve prayed and cried out with all our heart, and it seems like God is absent. We end up in this dilemma of whether faith works or not. But we have God’s power within us, as His children. As a young Christian, God helps us with everything. As we mature in faith, He wants us to change gear and bring about change with the power He has given us as His people.
We need to stand firm and put on the full armour of God, the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit. We need to take hold of the Word, speak it, and watch chains break.
We need to remember and learn to build our house on the rock, that way surviving the storms that will come. We need to build on Jesus, a sure immovable foundation on which we can stand no matter what.
- Belt of truth - revelation on the inside.
- Breastplate of righteousness – knowing the blood of Jesus has made us right with God.\
- Shoes of the gospel of peace – wherever we go we bring peace and good news – faith, hope and love.
- Shield of faith – the word of God spoken from our mouth and in our hearts shields us.
- Helmet of salvation – our mind is sound and safe in Christ – in the Word.
- Sword of the Spirit – the word of God divides soul and spirit and brings truth to our inner being.
- Prayer and supplication – brings connection with God and answers we’re seeking.
3. Having done all, stand
Paul says there might be days where you can’t even take a step of faith. The only thing you can do is to stay standing (Ephesians 6:12-13). As we stand there’s a decision that everyone has to make: to resist what is evil. We all wrestle and struggle but by resisting our enemy we activate the power of God in us (1 Peter 5:8-9).
If we choose to sit down, step back, or give up, we’re going to find ourselves getting overwhelmed (Isaiah 7:9). Our enemy wants to steal our faith, trip us up and taint our relationship with God - he will try to convince us of all sorts of things. We need to actively start resisting the feelings of condemnation, shame, discouragement, or anything else he throws against us (1 Tim 6:12). As we put up a fight, we are choosing to deny the devil consent.
Our faith is more precious than gold and when we cannot understand our circumstances, we put our trust in God. Trust that God is in heaven and He is ruling, and we will stay standing. Jesus Christ is Lord, Lord of our lives, and He remains in control.
God is eliminating things in our lives and fashioning us, ultimately creating a beautiful piece of art (Philippians 1:6). We are clay being moulded (Ephesians 2:10) and we will end up in the kiln at moments in our lives. Yet, we will continue to stand, still bringing praise, worship, and glory in spite of all the difficulties. We will break through with praises.
SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT:
1. Has there been a time when you struggled to stand in your faith?
2. What does it look like in practice to put on the full armour of God?
3. What are some next steps to undertake to learn to stand in our faith?
4. If non-believers see you standing in your faith (during trials), how might you explain to them the way God can help us all stay standing?