What if it was raining cats and dogs?

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24And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, 25who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit,

“‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain?

26The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed’—

27for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. 29And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, 30while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

Here’s one strange English idiom: “Its raining cats and dogs.” Meant to describe a heavy downpour it surely describes a devastating downpour.

What if life brings you a devastating downpour? What if pressure is mounting because of your faith in Christ?

The challenge under pressure is to keep our view of God large. When the church in Jerusalem experienced pressure during the arrest of John and Peter they prayed. When they celebrated their release from the authorities they prayed. They prayed not for relief but for courage. How could they do that?

They kept God large through the revelation of Jesus Christ— Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Sovereign Lord.

Creator of Heaven and earth.

Inspirer of the prophet’s message.
Promise keeper.

Messiah, Anointed one.

King.

When the downpour comes, me must remember Jesus. He shows us God’s plan that continues even through the downpour.

 

Like a cookie in the mouth of the devil.

Scripture:  1 Peter 5:8-11

8Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Observations:

Because the devil is on the prowl seeking to devour someone… be clear-headed and watchful.  The devil is our adversary.

Resist the devil, remaining firm in our faith; others throughout the world in the family of Jesus are suffering too.

After our suffering, the God of all grace, who has called us to share in the same glory as the crucified and resurrected Jesus will “restore, confirm, strengthen and establish” us.

Application:

Peter continues in his theme of faithful perseverance in the Gospel faith even in the face of difficult, trials, and suffering.  This time he recognizes that the devil, our adversary, seeks to make the most of these troubles.  The devil sneaks around like a lion in order to devour his prey.  There’s nothing like trouble, suffering and darkness, to kick up the temptation to quit believing God… and the devil seeks to make the most of the opportunity.

Peter gives a command and a commendation:

  1. The Word of God calls us to resist by remaining firm in our faith.  Faith here is the revelation of the Gospel and God’s love for us in Christ Jesus.  Faith here is also the active choice to continue believing and trusting God through our sufferings.
  2. Remember that we are not alone in our sufferings.  Together with all those who suffer for their faithful obedience to Jesus we will experience God’s salvation.  He will restore, confirm, strengthen and establish us.

So here’s the thing, when the pressure comes, when I’m worried about what others think of Jesus and His people and His ways (and of me), then I should be wise to the temptations that come to challenge my faith so it crumbles like a cookie in the mouth of the devil.  No.  Stand firm.  Your resistance to the devil by exercising faith in Jesus taps into Jesus’ victory and glory.

Prayer:

Our Heavenly Father, may you have dominion always.  You know how weak I am.  Yet, I am asking for grace to boldly persist in trusting Jesus today.  Protect us from the evil one and strengthen your church today by your Spirit that we might persist in faith, love and obedience to our Lord Jesus Christ.  AMEN.