1 Peter 5:8
"Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world."
How many times have you felt like you were the only one who struggled with something? How many times have you experienced temptation, failure, depression, anxiety, you name it, and felt like you were alone? Alone is exactly where our adversary the devil wants us to be. And Scripture tells us to "resist him, firm in our faith." But how do we do that?
The words that follow remind us that we are not alone, "the same kinds of suffering that you are suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world." Not only are we told that we are not alone in our suffering and temptation, but Scripture tells us that Jesus also suffered temptation.
"Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted." Hebrews 2:18
"Jesus understands every weakness of ours, because he was tempted in every way that we are. But he did not sin! So whenever we are in need, we should come bravely before the throne of our merciful God. There we will be treated with undeserved kindness, and we will find help." Hebrews 4:15-16
Jesus understands our weaknesses and treats us with undeserved kindness! What an important truth to remember when we are tempted to isolate ourselves in our suffering or shame! We will find help and mercy when we approach the throne of grace.
And if we are promised to receive this from God, how then should we treat each other? Scripture tells in numerous places that we are to treat others as Christ has treated us, bearing with each other, forgiving each other, loving each other, not judging each other, growing in grace and accepting one another- knowing that we are all sinners in need of the grace of God.
We are not alone. God has given us His Spirit. And He has given us each other. When you are tempted to isolate, reach out to your sister in Christ instead. Ask for prayer. Ask for support. Confess your sins, one to another. We are sinners in need of grace. We are sinners who need each other to resist our adversary who seeks to devour us. We are sinners who have been redeemed and adopted into the family of God. We need each other to remind us who we are in Christ. We need each other to remind us of this truth: We are not alone.
"And 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. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen." I Peter 5:10-11