Until That Day

“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 Pet. 5:10-11

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”  Rom. 8:18

I know that the holiday season was anything but joyful for some in our family. Whether it was the death of a loved one during this past season or remembering life without a loved one who used to fill our lives with such joy. Then there was also the burden of on-going conflict within the family. Whatever the reason and these are only 3; I know that the holidays were a struggle for many.

But the above passages are only two passages of the weariness-validating, heart-encouraging voice of the Scriptures. So we begin this Monday with various light and not-so-light challenges weighing on our hearts and backs. With that in mind, these Scriptures, from Peter and Paul, about the normalcy of sufferings we experience, are quite timely. We have to constantly be reminded of the fact that this is one of the many things that define a Christian in this fallen world (as I did yesterday in the sermon). “For to this you have been called (to suffer for Christ), because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in His steps.” I Peter 2:21

Now both of these men were quite familiar with suffering; and both were even more familiar with God’s sovereign might and continuous grace. Have you ever thought of the connection between our suffering and our gaining fuller knowledge of God’s sovereignty and grace? Now to a certain degree, everything and everyone is broken in this life. So to suffer is to be human; but to suffer well is to be His child filled with His Holy Spirit.

Remember…the Day of no more “death, mourning, crying, or pain” is coming (Rev. 21:4); but it is NOT THIS DAY. Until that Day, there is the Godhead, and all the grace we’ll need when we ache so that we can still bring God glory in our affliction…our grief…even our repentant sin.

In the “bigger picture”, as Peter implies, all suffering is just for a “little while.” When life hurts the most, it reminds us that He is the “God of all grace”—the one who has called us to “eternal glory.” He is the One who  will, indeed, “restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish” us. Maybe not today…but that Day will come. We need to be making His Word more real than our pain, His grace more substantive than our sufferings, and His presence more defining that our aches. We need to see…hear…and know Jesus in the midst of our suffering.

When you pray, pray that God will free us to believe “the glory that will be revealed in us.” When Jesus returns, the weight of our sufferings will be gone forever. Now that is something to look forward to…to prepare for…to long for.  But until that Day, also pray that God will grant us grace to steward our sufferings as a gift that we might grow in compassion for others.

One more passage in conclusion: “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  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.” (Rom. 5:1-5)

God Bless y’all on this Monday.

In His Grip,
Pastor Mike

Picture of Mike Singenstreu

Mike Singenstreu

Mike Singenstreu is Pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Victoria, TX.

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