Daily Devotional

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.” (ESV)

When I was in Elementary School, I had a great friend who lived on the other side of town where I grew up.  During summer vacation, we were allowed to walk, run, skateboard, or ride bikes to each other’s house—whatever it took to get there safely while our parents were at work.  

One day I thought it would be fun to ride my sister’s ten-speed… as fast as I could… down a steep hill… riding on the sidewalk… on the wrong side of the road.  (What were my parents thinking?)  About halfway down the hill I lost control, flipped sideways, and slid about 15-feet across the sidewalk.  The concrete scraped off the skin on the left side of my body like a cheese grater.  I remember laying in bed for days with painful, open wounds that slowly scabbed over and cracked every time I tried to move or walk.  At the time it felt like an eternity.  But gradually I got better, and before I knew it life went back to normal—except for a few scars to remind me not to ride my bike like an idiot anymore.  

That story reminds me of the suffering Peter describes in his first epistle.  It’s not the kind of suffering that comes from a twelve-year-old’s folly on his sister’s bicycle.  It’s the kind of suffering that comes as a consequence of living the Christian life openly and courageously in a corrupt world that despises God (1Peter 1:6–7, 2:11, 18–21, 3:13–17, 4:1–5, 12–16, 5:8–9).  And it’s every bit as painful—if not more!

When we suffer as believers for the sake of Christ, how do we keep going and not lose heart?  How do we continue glorifying God and not give up?

1 Peter 5:10 gives us three clues:

  1. We have to remember that God’s grace is sufficient to carry us through our trials.  When we face suffering, we have to remember that we are not alone.  And we have to remember that God is never taken by surprise.  He is sovereign.  He is control of the challenges he allows in our lives.  And sometimes he calls us to suffer for the sake of Christ – “If when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps” (1Peter 2:20–21).

  2. We have to remember that our trials are temporary.  When we’re going through the fire, I know it doesn’t feel that way.  But Peter said, “after you have suffered a little while…”  Compared to the eternal glory that is waiting for us in heaven, our trials are like the blink of an eye, like the tick of a second-hand on the face of a clock (Romans 8:18).

  3. Finally, we have to remember the final outcome of our suffering.  Just as I healed from my bike accident and went on with my life, God is constantly bringing us through trials and making us stronger, even using the most difficult and desperate circumstances of our lives to bring about something good (Romans 8:28).  Peter promises us that no matter what we are going through, God will himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish us.  

Do you believe that today?  And are you willing to trust him?  Are you willing to embrace the trial that God has allowed in your life, and even praise him for it, because you know that he is making you more like Christ?
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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