Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Meditation on 1 Peter 5.10-11 [Part 3]

‘… 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
Today we will walk through the third line of this verse: “…will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”
What a marvelous thought.
God himself takes it upon himself to care for those whom he has called to glory. This phrase makes God’s care for his people intensely personal. He does not send intermediaries, he doesn’t rely on blind chance, he doesn’t just sit back and watch things happen. No, he takes personal interest in his dear ones. This reminds us of what Jesus said in John 15:9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.” The love of God is expressed to us in the person of Jesus Christ. His love for us is great as his love for the Son. know that God himself is intensely concerned about the circumstances of your life, indeed, he is directing those very circumstances for his glory and your good.
How is God’s care for us shown? Peter gives us four verbs that describe God’s concern for his people. He says that God himself will restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish us.
The term restore refers to the process whereby we are being changed into the people that God wants. Romans 8:29 says that we are being “conformed to the image of his Son.” God has a purpose in our lives. He desires that we reflect ever more perfectly the image of Jesus Christ. It is a hopeful thing for us to realize that the trials we face are not designed to crush us, but rather to be a part of the process of our sanctification.
When Peter says confirm, he wants us to remember that God is the one working in our lives and he will surely be successful in that work. We can be completely confident that “…he that began a good work in[us] will perform it…” There is no doubt, no fear of failure with God. Even when things seem bleak, even when it seems as if each step has only led us down, remember God’s purposes. Meditate on Joseph in the dungeon in Egypt. Each event of his life to that point had only seemed to be a further step down, but God’s plan was operating, God purposes were at work and the next step was to the position of the top administrator in the greatest world power of the day. Even that was just a part of God’s purposes for the care of his people.
The verb strengthen reminds us of God’s continuing care. He will provide the resources needed to walk the path he has given to us. At times this is physical strength. As Jesus reminded us in the model prayer in Matthew 6, our daily sustenance is from his gracious hand. It is helpful for us to regularly remind our selves that our food, our sleep, all the things that provide physical strength come from God’s hand. We do well to thank him for this. We must also see that our inner man is strengthened by God. He feeds us with his Word in order for us to be strong in the circumstance of life. Even the trials we face today are exercises that strengthen us so that we can face tomorrow with even greater vigor.
The final verb in this chain is establish. This points to God’s purpose in our lives. He has an intentional goal for us. The picture that is here is one of a building upon a solid foundation that will withstand the storms of life. As we face the difficult providences remember that they are designed to help us obtain that deep, firm, solid foundation that will enable us to face the future with the confidence of God’s omnipotent hand upholding us.

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