In a video posted on the desiringGod website, theologian John Piper talks about the epic daily warfare in a Christian's life, saying Satan wants to "eat your faith for breakfast" and yet we can be sure we will be a believer tomorrow morning.
Piper, who served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota, for 33 years, begins the five-minute message by reading 1 Peter 5:8,9, "Be alert and of sober mind. 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 the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings."
While the devil is compared to a lion in the passage, what he wants is not our muscles or bones, the theologian explains. The devil wants to "eat" your faith, he says.
Satan can make us feel that a faith-building exercise is ridiculous, he adds in the video, which is part of an ongoing series called "Look at the Book," an effort to help teach people to read the Bible for themselves.
If Satan can eat your faith, he doesn't care what else you do, Piper states.
He then reads Luke 22:31, 32, "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."
Satan wanted to get faith out of Peter's life, Piper explains.
But Jesus was sure Peter would be able to withstand the devil's attack, as He did not say, "if you've turned," but "when you've turned," Piper notes.
Jesus allowed Satan to have Peter, but only "up to a point and no further."
"Does faith fail?" Piper asks, adding that Peter denied Jesus three times.
"I don't think his faith failed utterly," Piper notes. We all fail "but you haven't failed utterly… Jesus is praying for you," he adds.
Piper then reads 1 Peter 1:3-5, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time."
Jesus' prayer would be something like verse 5 in the passage, the theologian explains.
The point of this passage is "hope, hope, hope, it's so strong, it's so fixed, it's so firm and so trustworthy. And it's so valuable, unfading un-defiable, imperishable, infinitely better than anything in this world because you're inheritor of God, being born into His family. And He is keeping it there for you; He won't let it go away."
We don't need to worry how we will get there because of our suffering and the fiery ordeal that is going to come upon us, Piper goes on to say.
Jesus will "guard our faith." And He will guard us with the instrument of faith.
"If He left me to myself, I would not be a believer," he concludes.