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. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
As Peter writes this valuable letter to Christian believers who are facing constant persecution and ‘grief in all kinds of trials’ (1:6), it is helpful that he reminds us that suffering is ‘part of the territory’ of following Jesus. Peter was there with Jesus when he said, “They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God. They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. I have told you this, so that when the time comes you will remember that I warned you.” and “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:2-4a, 33).
Peter was eyewitness to the unjust suffering that Jesus himself endured. So, it is not without conviction and certainty that he writes, not “if you happen to suffer”, but “after you have suffered …”. He then goes on to put this into an eternal perspective and says, “a little while”, and goes on to remind us just who it is on whose behalf we are suffering: the one to whom belongs ‘power for ever and ever’ and who is able to make us ‘strong, firm and steadfast’!
I can’t help feeling a little apprehensive about what suffering might be ahead of us as our society is slowly and surely being conditioned into actively opposing the Gospel message on which we stand (rather than just happily ignoring us as it has done throughout my lifetime), Peter is helping me to keep everything in perspective, and to trust my faithful, loving Saviour who has overcome the world! This certainly helps me to take heart.
– Bruce Christian