Life is full of difficulty, pain and suffering. No one is immune to it. Not one exempt. It may seem that he or she has it good, has it better or doesn't have any problems but this is an illusion. Now there are varying degrees of suffering and we don't get to choose our lot and circumstances. So much in our lives comes to us and what matters is how we travel in and through the difficult day as well as the days of sunshine.
I've spent a lot of time in the book of 1 Peter this year and a verse popped up on my watch today that is one of my favorites. Chew on this for a minute. Or as one of my friends likes to say, "marinate on it."
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
A few things to see here that are treasures and life to the follower of Jesus. First, the duration of our difficulty is "a little while." Now that may mean a few years or a whole lifetime, but nonetheless suffering is not eternal. It is temporary in light of the eternal glories that await us in the Kingdom. Paul said it this way,
For 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. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18.
Paul's struggles that were "light" included beatings, shipwreck, prison, snakes biting him, folk throwing rocks at him until they thought he was dead, etc. We need his perspective to know that suffering is only for "a little while."
The second thing we see is that "God himself" is going to act upon the behalf of his suffering saints when all is said and done. Not just any "god" but our creator, the God of all grace (kindness, love and favor), is the one who will personally restore us. God himself...pause and think about that. Who will ultimately take care of things in the end? Who has your back? God himself has your back. After a life that may seem to be but loss and difficulty there will come a restoration, a confirmation, a strengthening and an eternal establishment. Who will do it? God will. To him be the dominion (in charge, his running my game) forever and ever. Amen!
So no matter if work, school, sport, health, family, friends or politics seems extremely jacked up today we need to know this. God himself...he's on point for his people. He has our back. Run and tell that.