After You Have Suffered a Little While
I woke up feeling pretty crappy. Can I say that? Probably the lowest I have felt since being in the pit of depression. The sky is grey. The rain is pouring. I have a cold. I did not want to get out of bed, let alone do my devotions this morning. My wife and I are working through 1 Peter 5 right now. And in my un-firm, lack of resolve, I am glad that He tugged on my heart and got me to do it.
Normally I don’t share devotions on the blog, but today I will, because it is one of those days and it really helped me this morning. Hopefully, if you feel the way I felt this morning, this might bring some perspective. (Forgive the choppiness, This is devotions – not a typical blog post)
Verse 1 Peter 5:10-11
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.11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
Observations: Peter is speaking this prayer while he is inspired by the Holy Spirit. Just as all scripture is inspired, we know that this is not just a prayer but also a promise. I know that Jesus is before the throne praying this for me and all my brothers and sisters. And that is almost too much to bear. It overwhelms and consumes.
My sufferings are short, light, momentary, they last but a little while. The “little while” refers to our sufferings in this world – sickness, poverty, persecution, anxiety, depression, grief, loss etc. – and it is contrasted to the eternal glory which has been promised us in Christ.
God, who who is abundantly gracious, has called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus. And since he started this work in us, He will also complete that which He has started in us.
He will restore us.
He will establish us.
He will strengthen us.
He will make us steadfast…
That is amazing. Because I am not steadfast. Steadfast implies being firm and resolute, unyeilding and unwavering, yet…I am not. I am prone to wander. But here, in this verse, God promises that he will make us steadfast. God, who called us in His grace, will not leave us to ourselves, but preserve us to the very end.
Application: Do I believe this promise? I woke up feeling pretty down today. It is probably the weather or this head cold I have… But I feel off. Down. dreary. And here The Lord is saying, believe my promise, I will accomplish this for you. I will strengthen and establish and preserve you in Christ Jesus until that glorious day when Christ will return on the clouds of heaven in power and glory.
And His reward is with Him. It is Him.
It is the God of grace, who in His mercy, called us into His glory. Not because of any merit in ourselves, not because we are so strong, but because of His love for us in Jesus. By His grace He will accomplish this promised salvation.
Therefore all the glory belongs to Him. Not to me. It is not my great faith,or my firm resolve that will save me. No. It is about him. He will do it, according to His promise. Despite my mood. Despite my pitiful doubts. Despite my weakness. Despite my being prone to wander. It is all His work of grace for me and in me, for us and in us.
It is the glory of His grace. It is the glory of his mercy. It is the glory of Jesus Christ. It is the glory of God’s covenant faithfulness. Rejoice in the grace and the power of our almighty and faithful God. To you oh my God, be the power and the glory forever.