DAILY DEVOTION - JUNE 8
Listen to excerpts from today's daily devotion on this video.
This Daily Devotion is from A Living Hope, by Sarah Viggiano Wright, published by Bible Study Media, and made available to us through Presbyterian Women.
“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. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
1 Peter 5:10–11
Peter is ending this letter the same way he began it—offering help to God’s people and glory to God (cf. 1:1–7). In today’s verses, we see a doxology, a statement of praise. And within this statement of praise, a summation of his letter.
To the community of faith, those who have been born again to a living hope, Peter wants to acknowledge what is true...and what is even truer. What is true is that suffering is real; it’s awful, and Peter acknowledges this. We will even suffer unjustly for doing God’s will (1:6; 2:21; 3:9, 14, 17; 4:12). However, what is truer is that it will only be for a “little while.” Peter wants us to keep the brevity of our suffering in mind. It is temporal, momentary, light, and comparatively short. Even for those who have endured life-long suffering, it will seem, in the grand scheme of eternity, like only a moment. We’re just not there yet.
Also truer than our suffering is that Christ’s imminent return is far more glorious than we dare dream and far more restorative than we could ever imagine. When the Savior returns, all evil will be extinguished; all sadness wiped away; and sin, sorrow, suffering, and death will be no more. The apostle John reveals God’s promised future to us:
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.’ And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ Also he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’
No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
Anything that has been destroyed, defeated, or consumed will be replenished, replaced, and abundantly provided by the “God of all grace.” God’s kind, generous, lavish love and provision will be what sustains us. All the hope, victory, and goodness God has promised us is “trustworthy and true.” Notice the verb “called you” in verse 10. The tense of the verb is a completed past tense action. You are called “to his eternal glory in Christ” means the glory is already yours.
What this means for Christians is that “Earth has no sorrow that Heaven can’t heal.” The pain from the abuse of your past will be gone! The deep emptiness from your parents’ abandonment will be filled! The debilitating sickness you were born with will be healed. The relationship that was inextricably broken will be reconciled. The pieces from your shattered heart will be mended and made whole.
It is true that these are real pains and that they cause real suffering; it is truer that glory, rejoicing, peace, wholeness, and goodness will be yours forevermore. Christ himself will “restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you” in glory (v.10).These four near-synonyms all emphasize God’s promise and confirm that he is indeed going to fully restore us. All the effects of the fall and all the blights of the curse will be forever undone and made right.
God can and will accomplish all of this because his is the power, glory, and dominion forever and ever, Amen! And, you’ll forever be in a state of glory, too. There is nothing that can shake you or ultimately move you out of the ever-loving and forever sovereign hand of God!
But thanks be to God, we don’t have to wait for heaven to see goodness in this world. There are foretastes of glory that we can have now. In 5:6, Peter instructs us to humble ourselves underneath “the mighty hand of God,” meaning that we will have all victory through our powerful God. If we join this verse with 5:9, “Resist [the Devil], firm in your faith,” we will be emboldened to flee, resist, or fight the Devil in the strength and power God gives us. In him, the weak are made strong, and we are able to do hard things for his glory and for our good.
In the meantime, we can live life as those who now and forever will be established. We are rooted in his promise and his presence—he will never leave us. He fights with us and for us. He has laid down the example that we are to follow, and he gives us the strength to walk in his steps. And in those steps he leads us to eternal restoration and victory!