“the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory” (1 Peter 5:10, NKJV)
Peter has told us to expect suffering in this life for the sake of Christ, how to suffer appropriate to our calling in Christ, and something of the joy of suffering now in light of the glory to come. His entire letter has pastorally ministered to the suffering inherent in sojourning, particularly as the fish out of water we are as ones in the world but not of it.
As he winds up his epistle, Peter closes with an embrace of perspective and hope. “But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you” (1 Pet. 5:10).
When the Thessalonian Christians were confused and grieving, Paul reminded them that their hope was not wishful thinking, but a confident expectation, an assured conviction, a vibrant certainty that rested in God’s purpose in election secured by His Son (1 Thess. 5:9). Because their hope was secure and sure, they need not grieve as those who had no hope (1 Thess. 4:13-14). Amidst their tears, they could find comfort and encouragement in Christ.
Peter has taken the same tact in his letter. He has written to the elect of God (1:2) who possess a living hope (1:3) grounded in the saving work of Jesus Christ and is theirs by God’s power in regeneration.
Our suffering, whatever the degree, whatever the duration, is but for a little while in the grand scheme of eternity. That’s not to minimize the pain or difficulty of suffering now but it does infuse our misery with a measure of comfort. It gives suffering borders.
Peter calls attention to the strong and tender and beneficent hand of our Father. This “the God of all grace” takes us whom He called to His eternal glory in Christ (John 17:22-24) and will settle us at home with Him. We will take possession of the family inheritance that is ours in Christ (1 Pet. 1:4-5).
It’s no wonder that in reflecting on the wonder and certainty of these things, Peter erupts in doxology. “To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen” (1 Pet. 5:11).
REFLECTION: Our sufferings now are not worth comparing to the glory that awaits us.
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.