Suffering From the Opposition of the Devil

1 Peter 5:8‑14  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 8
1 Peter 5:8-98Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. (1 Peter 5:8‑9). The last form of suffering to which the apostle alludes is suffering from the opposition of the devil. He is the adversary and slanderer of God's people, but "the Son of God was manifested that He might destroy the works of the devil". Though the devil's power has been annulled at the cross, he is not yet cast into the lake of fire. As a restless and roaring lion he is still "going to and fro in the earth... walking up and down in it " (Job 1:7; 2:27And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. (Job 1:7)
2And the Lord said unto Satan, From whence comest thou? And Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. (Job 2:2)
). His aim as ever is to destroy. With God's people his efforts take the form of seeking to destroy their faith in God. Peter can speak from experience, for the time was when Satan desired to have Peter. He was, indeed, allowed to sift Peter as wheat, but was not able to touch his faith, for the Lord said, "I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not". Now Peter can tell others that the secret of resisting Satan is found in being "steadfast in faith".
This opposition of the devil is not exceptional, or confined to the believers from amongst the Jews. In some form or other all the Lord's people while "in the world" are exposed to this form of suffering.
1 Peter 5:10-1110But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. 11To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 5:10‑11). Whatever the opposition of the devil, we have "the God of all grace" to sustain us, and "eternal glory" lies before us. The devil may oppose, but grace has called us to glory by Christ Jesus, and no power of Satan can thwart the call of God. Grace will surely end in glory, though in the meantime we may have to suffer for "a while".
The devil by his opposition may seek to destroy the faith of the saint. Nevertheless, as in the case of Peter, God uses the attacks of Satan to perfect, stablish, strengthen and settle the saint. His efforts are thus not only frustrated, but are used for the blessing of the saint and the glory of God: "To Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen".
Throughout his Epistle, the apostle presents the glory as the answer to the suffering, whatever form that suffering may take. In chapter 1 the suffering from trials allowed of God will have an answer in glory (1:7); in chapter 2 suffering for conscience' sake carries glory with it (2:19, 20); in chapter 4 suffering for the Name of Christ will have its reward in the day of glory (4:13, 14); and in this last chapter suffering from the opposition of the devil will only strengthen the saint in view of eternal glory.
1 Peter 5:12-1312By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, I have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand. 13The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son. (1 Peter 5:12‑13). The apostle, in concluding his Epistle, reminds us that his object in writing this brief letter is to testify to the true grace of God in which believers stand. Silvanus, who carries the letter, was apparently but little known to the apostle. He is, however, credited with being "a faithful brother". He writes from Babylon, sending greetings from some well-known sister.
1 Peter 5:1414Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen. (1 Peter 5:14). The Epistle closes with a final appeal that love may mark the Christian circle, and with the desire that peace may be found in their midst.