But may the God of all grace, who called us into His eternal glory by Christ Jesus,
after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. I Peter 5:10-11
Fisherman and fisher-of-men, Peter concludes his letter with a forceful flurry of verbs– all actions that are taken, not by us, but by God to ensure our safe arrival on Heaven’s shore.
Four marvelous verbs. The first is “perfect,” sometimes translated as “restored,” or “mended.” At Galilee’s shore, Jesus found His disciples mending their nets. Peter the fisherman, more than most, knew what this word meant. Here he uses it to speak of what God will do for each of us. He will “mend” us. He will perfect us and make us whole. God will also “establish” us. The idea is that of “making strong”. Being braced on our two feet. The final two verbs, “strengthening and settling,” are terms we would note as architectural in use. With this in mind, it is helpful to read what Peter had written in 2:5– “chosen by God and precious, you also as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood.”
Who is it who does all this? It is obviously not us. There on the shores of Galilee Jesus said to Peter and Andrew, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” It’s God who makes us. He is a great God who has not only saved us, but also makes us for His purposes.
Note from last weeks study. The topic of I Peter 4 was suffering. I suggested seven main considerations and yet it was pointed out (gently & graciously) that only three were clearly identified. So please forgive me, truly and thanks for being intent upon the study of the Word.
To clarify the seven points—
1. v.1 Suffering (ours or others) is of great value to desire to “be done with sin.”
2. v. 4 Our suffering is a valuable witnessing tool as others observe how we navigate days of difficulties.
3. v.3 Suffering directs us to live in the spirit and His ways from the Word.
4. v.4 Suffering draws us to value and look forward to eternity.
5. v. 7-8 If we allow it, love can be one of the great outcomes of suffering.
6. v.13 Heaven… when we arrive (which is soon), we will be thankful for the brief
times of suffering with exceeding joy as it is working into us an eternal and exceeding weight of glory (II Cor.4:17).
7. v.19 Suffering reminds us of our “faithful Creator,” Jesus, who will always use our suffering for our good–(Romans 8:28).