Friday, August 06, 2010

Meditation on 1 Peter 5.10-11 [Part 1]

‘… 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 ESV

It is helpful for us to remember the context of this passage in meditating on it. In this first letter Peter is encouraging and strengthening believers who are going through very difficult circumstances. In chapter five as he is wrapping up his letter, he reminds them that there is an adversary, the devil, actively opposing their lives. One of the foundational truths that he wants believers to remember is that this adversary is defeated, that he is not an all powerful being who cannot be opposed. He also wants the believers to remember that though the adversary is defeated, he still possesses power for a time. He encourages them [and us] to resist him, not in our own strength, but by ‘casting all our anxieties’ on God. Trust God to give the victory.

Then Peter expresses this great truth that will bear the weight of all our hope and desire. '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.' There is suffering in this present age, but we must trust that the Creator God is sovereign over even these sufferings and he will use even these means to work his good purposes in our lives.
Today I want to meditate on the phrase: ‘The God of all grace…’

Grace is favor that is undeserved. We realize that we are completely undeserving of God’s favor. That Salvation, indeed life itself is an undeserved gift from God. When we are reminded of the ultimate holiness and glory of God we can only respond with humility and gratitude for the grace we have received. We remember that ‘Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights…’ [James 1.17 ESV]

It is the God of this grace who is our God. It is this God, whose favor is unmatched, who is equipping us for the resistance to Satan. It is this God, the giver of gracious, unmatched gifts, who is strengthening and establishing us in this life so that we are prepared for life with him forever. This is the God that Peter is relying on. This is the God that we should rely on, trusting him for his favor for all eternity.

When the circumstances of life are pressing in on you, when it seems as if the enemy has made you his particular target, remember that God has empowered us to resist him. Remember that He has given us the grace that strengthens and upholds us.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;

The clouds ye so much dread

Are big with mercy and shall break

In blessings on your head.

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