After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.1 Peter 5:10(NASB)
As believers in Christ, we are loved with an everlasting love and have been drawn by God with loving-kindness and with great goodness. We do not deserve the many privileges we have received by faith, indeed we deserve full punishment for our sins and the wages of all sin is death. But in His grace, Christ paid the price for our sin by dying on the Cross in our place.
Jesus identified with our sin, and the death that He died is credited to us so that the sentence of death has been lifted from our account. Because Christ died in place of us, the penalty has been paid. Not only have we have been reckoned as righteous, but have been given His new life. We have been given the resurrected life of Christ - the deathless life of Christ - the eternal life of Christ. What a demonstration of God's amazing grace to sinners such as we are.
But being reckoned righteous in Christ is only one aspect of God's amazing grace, for He has called us into His eternal glory and pledged to perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish us. He has undertaken to conform us into the likeness of Christ. He has promised to establish us in faith and to change us from one level of glory to another.
But as believers in a fallen world, we also have an adversary who is called the devil and Satan. He prowls around as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Although we are instructed to resist him, we do not have the strength and ability within ourselves to withstand him. But in Christ, we have all we need to stand fast in this evil day against the wiles of the wicked one. By God's grace, we are enabled to resist him as we abide in Christ, depend on our Heavenly Father, and hold fast to the faith. As we pray in faith and stand firm on the unchangeable Word of God, we discover that His grace is sufficient, for His strength is made perfect in our weakness.
Throughout our life the enemy of our soul causes much suffering, pain, persecution, and distress to believers, but the Bible tells us that suffering is part of the Christian course and in Christ we can become victorious, no matter what difficulties and hardships are strewn in our path, for no matter how fierce the trial and how severe the test, the full and final victory is already ours in Christ. Hell is no longer our final destination, for now our citizenship is in heaven, for we have been called out of darkness into God's eternal glory in Christ - by faith.
He will perfect us in the faith: "He will supply all we need according to His riches in glory." He will give us what is missing, render us fit, and complete what is lacking in our faith. He will heal what is hurting and mend that which is broken. He will heal the sickness that scars our life and render us holy and set apart for Him. He will realign what is twisted in thought, word, and deed: "For He Who began a good work in us will finish it until the day of Christ Jesus... and we have the mind of Christ."
He will confirm us in Christ. He will make us steady as we patiently endure suffering for His name's sake. He will stabilise us according to the gospel and make us firm in the faith. He is the Alpha and Omega, and will keep us and hold us steady through time and into eternity so that Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith, enabling us to be rooted and grounded in Him.
He will strengthen us in our heart. He will impart to us the might of His power and keep us from falling in times of testing. He has provided us with spiritual armour that will keep us from falling so that we maintain an unwavering defence against suffering for righteousness sake: "For we are of God, and through Christ we have overcome the evil one - for greater is HE that is in you, than he that is in the world."
He will establish us, as Paul wrote: "Now to Him who is able to establish you according to the truth and the preaching of Jesus Christ." He will establish us in truth and not permit us to waver in our faith, as we fix the eyes of our heart of HIM in confidence and in trust.
The inevitable sufferings of life are designed by God to perfect us in our spiritual walk, to establish us in our Christian faith, to strengthen us in our daily life, and to settle us in our blessed hope. Let us praise the Lord for His goodness and grace, for He has called us to His eternal glory in Christ, and He is perfecting, conforming, strengthening, and establishing us in Him with every passing day.
Heavenly Father, thank You that You are the God of all grace. Thank You that Christ suffered once for all on the Cross for me, not only paying the price for my sins, but also breaking the power of sin and Satan in my life. Continue to perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish me, and may I never forget that You Who started a good work in me will continue until the day of Christ Jesus. In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.
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