by Pastor Mark Jordan
“Keep your guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith.” (1 Peter 5:9, MSG)
A crisis of faith is something every believer will encounter at least once in his or her life. Have you ever had one? Are you in one now? Usually they come when you can’t understand how a good God could allow something to happen. Violence. Natural disasters. Terminal illness. Fill in your own blank. When you go through something like that you can feel so alone trying to make sense of things. Like vulnerable animals in nature, they know not to travel alone. We must do the same.
We need God.
We need others.
Just before today’s verse, Peter teaches about how the devil is looking to pounce and devour the vulnerable. I think that has a lot to do with those who feel isolated, alone. Peter references this when he says that you aren’t the only one to go through hard times, because faithful people all over the world are, too. I know that might not be too comforting at first, but it helps when read in conjunction with the last part of the verse: keep a firm grip on the faith.
Once I described faith as holding on even when the world says to let go. Maybe this verse inspired that…I can’t recall. When you go through difficulties, fight the temptation to think you are all alone. Then fight harder against the temptation to isolate and actually be alone. Hold onto your faith that God wins in the end with a tight grip. Don’t let go.
You are not alone. God is with you. God wants you connected to other believers.
Hold fast to Him.
Hold fast to each other.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for your help when difficulties come my way. Forgive my lack of faith, and tendency to isolate. I know you hold on to me, and want to hold on to you with others. By Jesus strength, give me your help. I pray this in Christ’s holy name. Amen.