“Commit their souls to God in doing good” (1 Peter 4:19, NKJV)
One of the most well known conclusions in Scripture is found in the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes. “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all” (Eccl. 12:13). Not only is this the summation of the book, it is encompassing as the chief end of man.
That statement serves as a corrective lens to life for safe passage in our journey through a fallen world, lest we be led astray by our experience. When we behold the righteous faltering and the wicked prospering, when we witness seeming chaos and contradiction, we may draw wrong opinions about God and His dealings with us.
In the same way, Peter issues a conclusion that seems to carry the weight of his entire letter and set the tone for the conduct of our lives. “Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator” (1 Pet. 4:19).
Just as Peter has tied in accountability to God (4:17-18), so does Ecclesiastes: “For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil” (Eccl. 12:14). Our lives are lived in relationship to and relationship with our God and Father.
The conclusion of Ecclesiastes calls us to exercise faith by fearing God and keeping His commandments. Peter has described to us the character of God, His work of redemption, and the reality of our suffering, and likewise calls us to the exercise of faith by entrusting ourselves to God and doing what is right. We lean in to the storms of life and press on in our earthly calling toward our heavenly hope in Christ.
Peter emphasizes that, despite appearances, God’s will rules the day. Suffering is not haphazard. We are not only to trust God, we are to entrust ourselves to Him, knowing that He is Creator and that He is faithful, and we are to walk as obedient children (1 Pet. 1:2, 14).
REFLECTION: A life of faith fears God and follows His will.
Unless noted otherwise, Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.