1 Peter 5:10
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.
Powerful verse. Some thoughts:
1) We are going to suffer and for some reason, God waits and let's us suffer for a little while. He doesn't jump in and end the suffering immediately. Instead he let's us feel our pain.
2) God is the God of ALL grace. Grace -- unmerited favor. We don't deserve God's goodness, but he gives it to us anyway.
3) We've been called to God's eternal glory. That shadow seems to overshadow the suffering, doesn't it?
And then Paul says that God himself will do four things for us. Let's define the words as these definitions make the verse so much more powerful:http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif
Restore: bring back to its former state; to bring back from a state of ruin, decay, disease, or the like; to repair; to renew; to recover.
Confirm: To make firm or firmer; to add strength to; to establish; To strengthen in judgment or purpose; To give new assurance of the truth of; to render certain; to verify;
Strengthen: To make strong or stronger; to add strength to;
Establish: To make stable or firm; to fix immovably or firmly; to set (a thing) in a place and make it stable there; to settle;
Suffering comes to us as I mentioned yesterday, so that we can comfort others. But it also comes so that we can experience God's grace in new ways. Life is a cycle of suffering and being restored, confirmed, strengthened and established so we can face the next round. But instead of a spiral down, it's a spiral up, each time as we go around the circle we are closer to God and stronger than the time before.
During my years as an adoptive parent this has proven so true for me. I can look back -- and so can you -- to my regular blog and see how God has taught me and made me a better person through the hard things we have been through.
Suffering today? After a little while God is going to burst through and restore... confirm... strengthen.... and establish you. AFter all, he IS the God of all grace and you were called according to his eternal purpose.
Simplistic? Possibly. But maybe not so much. Maybe it just makes a whole lot of sense.