The God of All Grace Will Strengthen You

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It goes without saying that we are in a unique season, as a Church, as a city as a nation and as a world. And so, unique seasons call for unique measures — even if that means you have to type the words “30 minute home workout video” into your search bar and sweat it out with whoever or whatever you ended up clicking on to try and maintain some level of personal fitness…maybe you didn’t do that, that’s okay— bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way. But, if you did, I’m sure you heard whoever your motivational fitness personality was say something like, “Keep going…you’re almost there. Feel the burn for thirty more seconds. Push yourself. Eyes on the prize. Fight through the pain.” There’s a bunch of them…but the goal of all those little catch phrases is the same — to encourage you to endure to the end of the workout, because you get the full benefits of your workout…when you get to the end. And, if you keep doing them, you get to send in your before and after picture of bodily transformation to show everyone else that pushing through those crunches and squats and burpees really pays off—muscles. The goal is to finish, because that’s where the benefits are—at the end. So that’s why the man or women yells (or whispers) “One more rep…you go this. Thirty more seconds. Almost there” It’s all to get you to the end.
In a similar, Peter aims to do the same for the elect exiles he’s writing to (and for us) — encourage us to endure until the end, even if it means we have to endure a little suffering to get there; the end goal is worth it. . .the before and after picture is worth a little suffering. His aim is to bring our suffering into proper perspective by pointing us to who is working in us, amidst our suffering and what He has secured for all believers. He does this in 1 Peter 5:10, our text for this morning. Let’s read it again:
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.
What a glorious passage, saints. I so wish we could share in it together, face-to-face. Even still, by God’s grace, I hope to encourage you by unpacking this verse in two points:
You Will Suffer A Little While
The God of All Grace Will Bring You to Glory

You Will Suffer A Little While

The Apostle Peter has reminded us of our adversary—the devil and how we are to respond to him; we’re to resist him, firm in our faith. And the saints that Peter is writing to were to keep in mind that other believers throughout the world were enduring the same kinds of trouble. It’s normal...
He says, And after you have suffered… (v.10)
He doesn’t say, in case you suffer or in the off-chance that you might suffer or there’s a slight chance that you will suffer. After you have suffered. In other words, suffering is to be expected. He’s reminded us of this in the previous chapters:
1 Peter 4:12-13 - Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings...
It comes with that call.
It’s helpful to provide some context here — what kinds of suffering were these elect exiles enduring?
Nothing in the letter indicates that there was an official government legislated persecution of Christians (although that happened and still happens). But, whatever the suffering is, it's something that the Church was experiencing everywhere (5:9). Rome ruled the day and Christian faith was under constant threat in the entire Greco-Roman world -- this included insults and verbal abuse (4:4, 14) and slanderous accusations of wrongdoing (2:12; 3:16). Beatings (2:20), social ostracism, mob violence, and possibly even local police action. So, it's to be understood that believers in churches all across the six Roman provinces in Asia Minor were experiencing different degrees of resistance, opposition — all kinds of suffering, fiery trials. And Peter seems to attribute it to two causes:
- Suffering can be a bi-product of the devil, in his attempt to devour the people of God (cf. 1 Pet 5:8-9; Job 1-3) -- This is why he tells the believers to resist the devil, firm in your faith...the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by the church throughout the world. The devil is, in part, a cause of the suffering of the Church. But, he is not the ultimate cause, because, as we’ll see…he does not hold the power to determine the end goal nor does he have the power to accomplish the ultimate purpose of our suffering. As one writer puts it, “Satan is God’s strange servant...” He is, as Luther put it, “God’s Satan”. And so...
-The suffering of these elect exiles (and our suffering) is also and ultimately a cause of the sovereign hand of God (1 Pet 4:12-16), to as we’ll see, accomplish glorious purposes for His people. But, suffering is to be expected if those glorious purposes are to be accomplished. Suffering for the Christian is inextricably linked to eternal glory. And the one always comes before the other.
Similar to the elect exiles that Peter is writing to, our suffering comes in many forms. Paul wrote, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8–9).
Our suffering can be mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual and when suffering comes, its usually a combination of these.
The point is not how specifically, but when. All Christians suffer. Either you have, you are, or you will — “through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22).
But, Peter—so intentional here—wants these elect exiles (and us) to know something about our suffering.
It’s only for a little while....(v.10)
To Peter, it’s only a little while, because eternity is what’s on the other side of suffering. So, if we’re talking 6 weeks, 6 months or even 6 years compared to eternity…6 years is like a little while.
Because the focus of Peter’s emphasis here is actually not suffering…it’s the God of all grace who will bring us to eternal glory.
2 Corinthians 4:17–18 - “This light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
Family, what ever you’re enduring now…we only have a little while, and then glory...
I thought of Jesus' words in Revelations 22:12 -- “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done."
Peter reminds his readers of this in his second letter:
2 Peter 3:8 - But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
Saints, we only have, I only have a little while and then I'm standing before the king. Whatever suffering He allows in my "little while" before heaven, help me to be faithful. For some a little while is 80 years, for others 50, for other maybe even less than that, but to the Lord a thousand years is as a day and a day is as a thousand years---compared to eternity we only have a little while...God give us grace to not waste our suffering or, in our short-sighted unbelief, miss its purpose--our little while here is preparing us for eternity for glory. It changes the way you think about your "little while" when you think about eternity, doesn't it?
And so, one of my prayers as I meditated on this text has been, “God, make me wise in this little while that I have. God, make me faithful, keep me committed, help me to be gentle, help me to be prayerful, help me to love my family, your Church and the world. Give me grace to endure whatever suffering you permit...keep me close to you in this little while that I have.
Through the Apostle Peter, God has assured "I will..." The remainder of our passage leads to my second point...

The God of All Grace Will Bring You To Glory

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. (v.10)
Peter reminds us that our God is not just a God of grace, He is the God of all grace!
We must remember that our God is a God of all grace -- this means that He has grace for every need and grace for every kind of suffering—all the various kinds of trials we endure. He has grace to save, grace to sanctify, grace to secure us, grace to finish the work He began in us! You will never have a need, a care, a concern, a struggle or a trouble that God does not have a sufficient supply of grace for. He is the God of all grace…and He is not stingy with His infinite supply of grace! He gives it freely to those who are in Christ. Christ bought, with His blood and infinite supply of God’s grace, mercy and blessing for every one of your needs, today. You did not earn. It was purchased for you.
Ephesians 1:5-8 - In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us...
Saint, when you suffer, remember that the God of all grace is your God. That’s your God! Growing up, my pop had a little medal of Saint Christopher hanging from his rear view mirror and he would kiss it periodically, while he was driving…I remember asking him, “What is that?” He said, “It’s St. Christopher, the patron saint of travelers.” And then I found out that there were saints for everything you could think of! Saints for when you lost something, saints for the poor, saints for animals… when God’s word so clearly reminds us that we have a God…of…ALL…grace!
I think that's one of the things we're to be reminded of here, because we, along with the exiles might be tempted to say, " His grace sufficient to help with this problem, though?" And Peter says, "He is the God of all grace! Yes!"
2 Corinthians 12:8-9 - Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Our "little while" of suffering cannot stop the flow of His grace towards us in Christ Jesus and He has a sufficient supply for all who have need. You have it saint. It’s yours. And not only that, but be reminded that our all is not actually all of anything. If I give all my strength to try and lift something…that’s not a lot of strength. God’s all is actually all sufficient. That’s why Paul says, “For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.
And it’s this God of all grace who has effectively called us to his glory in Christ Jesus! (cf. John 1:18)
2 Thess 2:13-14 - God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The plan for suffering is that God will, through it, bring us all to glory.
John 17:22–24 - The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
And we get glory after suffering, because Christ has secured it for us! All the blessings of God’s grace in this life and the next come through our union with Christ
And so, the ultimate plan for suffering is that God will, through it, bring us all to glory. Peter is saying, listen saints your suffering for a little while now, but what’s coming is certain…in fact it’s already done!
Romans 8:30 - And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
1 Thess 5:23-24 - Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
Peter emphasizes this in two words that we can quickly pass over, but I don’t think we should.
He says that God “...will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”
I was immediately struck by a couple of things when I read these two words. First, it's a strange thing to say (to me) because it seems to be understood that we're talking about God. Why the emphasis?
I think Peter wants the sufferer to see a couple of things here:
1) The purpose God is accomplishing through suffering, God will personally accomplish. Emphasis on personally.
God is personally invested, involved and active in the work of bringing us through suffering, glory.
ILLUSTRATION: You can always see the associates. They work at the front of the Best Buy, but rarely do you get a district manager...or the CEO come out and say, "I'm ringing up customers today. All the customers. Or when you have a problem with Comcast and you say, "I want David Watson on the phone to work out his discrepancy with my bill...and he actually picks up the phone!"
I do think one thing Peter might be saying to the sufferer is, "God's going to care for you personally." I mean...what a promise, Church. We have a God who doesn't send His angels to strengthen us to endure, certainly not the saints of Catholicism, He himself wipes away every tear from your eye, saint! God will do it! He loves you! It’s one thing if I say to Olivia or Jadon, when their crying, “Stop crying. Here’s a tissue, wipe your tears.” It’s a completely different experience for them if I say, “Come here…let dad wipe those tears away for you.” And my shoulders are wet and my hands are salty...
What a lovely, holy, gentle, invested and compassionate God we have...He himself cares for each individual saint in His Church! This is a God who dwells in eternity and wants for nothing...and He will himself, complete what He begun in you...and you'll see Him on that great day. He is writing his name on you, saint. He has invested the blood of His Son…and He will personally see that what Christ paid for sees its full reward—glory for all the chosen.
As one commentator puts it, “we do not have an absentee Father, a distant Savior, or a “hands off” Spirit!” God himself is the one bringing you to glory.
2) God will do the work of bringing us to glory, through suffering completely, by himself. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
He promised this long ago, in Jeremiah:
Jeremiah 32:39 - I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever, for their own good and the good of their children after them. I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me. I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul.
Ed Clowney puts it this way: “It is God who saves, from start to finish. God’s initiative stands at the beginning of salvation. He has called us by his grace (1:1–2). God’s purpose arches over the end of our salvation.
The purpose God has for you in suffering is God’s purpose and He will accomplish it!
What exactly will God do after our little while to ensure that we make it safely to glory? Peter finishes his letter be assuring us that He will himself do four things for His saints: restore, confirm, strengthen and establish. What a promise…let’s look at these:
restore - The word he means to mend or to putting right what was wrong. I can remember when Jadon broke his arm and he had to get a cast to set his arm in place so that the broken bone could heal. God will tend to our wounds! He will attend to us and make us whole!
So, the question this restoration something that we hope in for later or do we have it now? Yes!
Saint, right now He is completing in you what has already fully been completed in Christ. Even now we are complete in Him. Not only that, but the eternal woulds of your sin have been forever healed, mended…by his wounds. If you are in Christ today, even though your outer man may waste away, you are being renewed day by day… and so, suffering…for a little while is simply ushering you into the eternal reality of who you already are. Your sins are completely forgiven, you are completely healed…that’s how God sees you — He sees the righteousness of His glorious Son Christ! You are restored…and after a little while, you’ll see…you’ll put off this body for one fit for glory and eternity with Him.
God allows suffering in our lives so that He might make us fit, by His grace, to endure the next wave of suffering.
Romans 5:3-5 - Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Sometimes we don't respond well to suffering, we complain, we doubt, we lash out in anger, we stray...and the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, has made payment for those times that we do not trust Him in suffering as we ought. And, His payment guarantees that He'll complete what He began in us!
He will stand you up and make you stable and strengthen your devotion to Him. That’s what confirm means.
And so, the question still stands, will He confirm us now? Is this a promise that we have now or is it a promise yet to be fulfilled in glory. Yes! He will do this now. Think of suffering once experienced that has only resulted in you trusting Him even more now. Not only that, but you, already now, stand firmly fixed in Christ and predestined for glory. This is how God sees you — covered in the complete stability and perfect devotion of his Son Christ—His stability and confirmation is yours now.
And, in glory He will complete what He started, after a little while, and will be completely and perfectly devoted to Him -- no distraction, no temptation, no interruption, no suffering...we will be what we long to be now--wholly and solely committed to Him.
And, He will strengthen and establish you...
strengthen the soul and make you more able to endure in suffering -- 1X in the NT. Satan is compared to a roaring lion, but here God removes our fear, in suffering, and makes us strong--in the Lion of Judah--so that we can endure all kinds of suffering.
Now, he gives strength in our time of suffering. Not only that, but God Himself is our strength. And, in glory - Our strength will be perfected. We will be as He is.
establish - place us on a firm foundation
Now - Christ is our sure and firm foundation. He is the Cornerstone of the Church. We rest on Him, completely. We are established and firm, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that we have. We stand on Christ, our solid rock! Everything else is sinking sand.
These are architectural building words on purpose. You remember Peter’s earlier teaching---we are being built up into the spiritual house of God (2:3-8). So, part of God’s purpose in your suffering is to build you up into what you already are. When we arrive at Heaven’s gate, we will be his dwelling. In glory, we will rest securely in Christ, our foundation. The house of living stones will be forever and eternally joined to God’s chosen cornerstone (2:6).
Family, we can be assured…our suffering is not for nothing. It’s God’s loving purpose for us to endure suffering for a little while, trusting that we have a God who, because of the life, death and resurrection of His Son Christ, for all His chosen—has all the grace we need to endure. He’s called us to a glorious hope that is fixed, kept for us…because Christ has secured it for us. And, it’s in Christ that he restores and will restore, strengthen and will strengthen, and has established you and will complete the good work He’s begun in you. He surely will do it.
Let’s pray.
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