But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. ~1 Peter 5:10
Peter wrote his first letter to believers who were scattered in many different locations because of persecution. One of the many recurring words he uses to describe their plight was “suffering.” The words “suffer” and “suffering” are used a combined total of 16 times. He compares their sufferings to the sufferings of Christ. These believers needed encouragement. So, in this precious letter, Peter refers to God’s grace at work in their lives. He calls their attention and ours to the God of all grace!
We see the PROGRAM concerning grace.
“But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus…” The starting point in grace is when, by faith, we receive the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. However, grace does not stop at salvation. The God of all grace calls us from that point on into His eternal glory by Christ Jesus. Grace teaches us that denying ungodliness and worldliness, we should soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world. God in His love wants us to grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We see the POWER through grace.
Suffering makes us weak. Suffering drains us. Suffering is discouraging and a distraction. That is when the God of all grace must be allowed to show Himself strong on our behalf. First, the power of grace is maximized in us when we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, vs. 6. Second, Paul tells us, “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me,” II Cor. 12:9. God’s strength is made perfect through our weakness. Difficulties teach us to humble ourselves before God, and to draw from His unlimited strength to bolster us.
We see the PATIENCE through grace.
“For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God,” I Pet. 2:20. Through our suffering, God develops needed patience in us through His grace. The word “acceptable” is the Greek word “Charis” which, in this context, means “the grace of God.” So, when we suffer and take it patiently, this is the grace of God. As we consider the virtues of the Christian life, patience is the next step after temperance, and it is the necessary step before godliness.
We see the PERFECTING through grace.
“…After that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” I think the hardest fact for us to accept is that suffering is as much the will of God for our lives as are good times. It is through suffering that our faith and spiritual life will be perfected. “The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts,” Prov. 17:3. The God of all grace builds us and makes us better through our trials. Notice that he says, “After that ye have suffered a while.” Trials and sufferings are open-ended as to duration. Every trial is Father-sent, Father-designed, and Father-filtered. God in His infinite wisdom knows exactly how long to allow the trials in our life, in order to perfect, stablish, strengthen, and settle us.
This morning, reflect deeply on the God of all grace. God is the Author and Provider of grace. It is His loving power at work in and through us so that we stand unashamed before Him.
Have a grace-enriched God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Nehemiah 8-9