15th January 2013

After You Have Suffered A While

“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. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
1 Peter 5:10 (NKJV)

Today, the world is filled with trouble and woe, strife and suffering. As we watch these horrendous events unfold before our eyes on our televisions in our living rooms, I’m sure that we groan with the people involved and yearn for a better world.

It’s also not surprising that at some point in time we too suffer for one reason or another. But in the midst of our trouble we have a refuge, a hiding place and a source of help that we are encouraged to boldly latch onto.  Hebrews 4:16 (NLT) says, “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it.”

Peter tells us in the opening scripture above that God uses suffering to perfect us. The Greek word used here can mean adjusting, restoring or mending. So, our Father uses suffering to complete us and bring us to the perfection that we find in Jesus Christ the Saviour of mankind.

God will also establish us through suffering and give us a sure and firm foundation—it is called “The Rock!” We read in Matthew 7:25 (NLT), “Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on the Rock.”

The opening scripture also says he will strengthen and settle us. And in Psalm 27:1 King David asks, “The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

Suffering is used to temper our Christian lives, to perfect, establish, strengthen and settle us so that we will not break under the pressures and tensions that surround us. And in our sufferings we discover the inexhaustible sufficiency of our great God; to him be glory forever and ever—amen!

Prayer
Gentle Father, thank you that even though the storms of life rage around us you are always there; holding on to us and whispering words of encouragement in our ears, and making sure that we are indeed built on that Rock—that sure foundation—your Son, Jesus Christ, through whom you perfect, strengthen and settle us.
Amen

Study by Cliff Neill

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