1 Peter 5:6-11 – Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. 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 your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. (NIV)
Lately I've had a very negative attitude about everything. But it's hard to be negative in the springtime! The grass is so green, the leaves are bursting forth on the trees and the flowers are sticking their heads up out of the ground. Everywhere around us springs new life! And new hope! Easter promises us the hope of a resurrection through faith in Jesus Christ. Because He lives, we can live also. (John 14:19)
This morning's scripture calls us to stand firm in the faith and God will strengthen us. We are to cast all our anxieties on Him for He cares about us. We don't have to make it on our own. God is always with us. He is more than willing to help us as we journey through life. All He asks of us is to stand firm. He calls us not give in to negative thoughts, not to give in to temptation. We are directed to stand firm and God promises to strengthen us.
An ancient legend describes how, once upon a time, the devil was thought to possess too many weapons of temptation. So God decided to reduce them to one! However, the devil was allowed to choose which single weapon he would keep — what one power he would retain — when all others were given up. According to the legend, the devil chose the power of discouragement. For he said, "If I can only persuade people to be thoroughly discouraged, they will make no further effort, and I will be in control!"
If you have been feeling discouraged lately, give yourself a chance to grow. Through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we have new life. We can start anew. God can continue to work in each one of us. "Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 15:57 NIV)
The words from our theme song this morning can be a helpful guide to us as we journey through life:
- Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, all fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living just because He lives.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, forgive us. So often we are easily discouraged. We ignore You and depend on our own strength. Too often we trust in our own plans and not Your plan for our lives. Thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus, and for the promise that if we believe in Him, we will have eternal life. Help us to keep our eyes on Him. Grant us strength to move forward and to trust in You to lead us in the paths of righteousness. For we ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.