Scripture: I Peter 5:10-14
10 The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little while. 11 To him be dominion forever. Amen.
12 Through Silvanus, a faithful brother (as I consider him), I have written to you briefly in order to encourage you and to testify that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it! 13 She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greetings, as does Mark, my son. 14 Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ. — 1 Peter 5:10-14 (CSB)
10 In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.11 All power to him forever! Amen.
12 I have written and sent this short letter to you with the help of Silas, whom I commend to you as a faithful brother. My purpose in writing is to encourage you and assure you that what you are experiencing is truly part of God’s grace for you. Stand firm in this grace.
13 Your sister church here in Babylon sends you greetings, and so does my son Mark. 14 Greet each other with a kiss of love. Peace be with all of you who are in Christ.
When we write someone a letter, we put the greeting first but in N.T. times, they put the greeting last. Silas was an educated man and an able scribe and editor. It is believed that he wrote this letter for Peter but here at the end, he gives the pen to Peter, the uneducated Galilean fisherman. I’m no Greek scholar but they tell me the Greek syntax changes dramatically at this point which would indicate a different writer. Peter’s purpose in writing this letter is stated in verse 12…I have written and sent this short letter to you with the help of Silas, whom I commend to you as a faithful brother. My purpose in writing is to encourage you and assure you that what you are experiencing is truly part of God’s grace for you. Stand firm in this grace. If I were to give the letter a theme, I would take that from verse 12…STAND FIRM IN THIS GRACE.
In life, we have to face difficult and unpleasant things like temptation, stress, physical suffering, rejection, persecution, hard times, grief, disappointment-to mention a few and if we are to STAND through all these difficulties, we have to STAND in His GRACE. Peter is a great example: He is standing in God’s grace.
What do you think of when you hear the name Peter? A big mouth–a man who only stopped talking to change feet…an impetuous person…a cocky bird who is over-confident… a man who denied Christ three times…a prideful person who is determined to serve God his way…a man with big ideas and a small faith…a rugged temperamental Galilean fisherman… a man more prone to fail than to succeed. If any of these things popped into your mind, you would be correct because Peter was all these things and more.
It is very important that you understand the PETER of I Peter is now in his 60’s and due to the grace of God, he is a totally different person. He doesn’t have a big mouth, he is not cocky, but rather humble. He is not prideful and he does not try to please God in his own strength. He is about to die because he will not deny the LORD Jesus. God in His marvelous GRACE has made Peter into a new man. He is a shadow of his former self.
With this understood, lets look at verse 10
The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little while.
Peter uses four verbs here: in the AV, they are translated perfect, stablish, strengthen and settle. In the NASB: perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish. The NLT reads more like a commentary…he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.
The first time I read over the list, I thought to myself, there has to be a sermon here but I do not understand what it is. I suppose Dr. Wiersbe’s commentary helped me the most.
The first word Peter uses coincides with his personal testimony. The AV translates it ‘perfect’ and that is OK as long as you understand Peter is talking about a process, not an instantaneous perfection. The NASB reads “Restore.” The Greek word means to make one fit, to mend what is broken, to repair, to complete, to rig or equip, put in order, arrange, adjust, prepare for use. This is exactly what God, via His grace, did for Peter. He took Peter’s brokenness and He mended it. He repaired Peter and equipped him for ministry. He prepared him for special use.
Peter’s message is simple: God did this for me and in me and He will do the same in you. Take a moment and reflect on your own life. Do you see God’s hand of grace working in your life. Reshaping your attitudes, creating in you new desires, making you into something totally different from when you were young?
I can tell you for a fact, I stand in God’s grace, there is no other place for me to stand. I would not be standing at all if not for His grace. God has radically changed the way I think, the way I act and the way I live. Folks, I have no doubt that it is his grace at work in me. Paul said in Philippians 1:6…I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. I also like Philippians 2:13…For it is God who is working in you both to will and to work according to his good purpose. I definitely want to please the LORD. I pray daily for His kingdom to come and his will to be done. As I told you Sunday, I pray Mary’s prayer all the time, “Be it unto me according to Your word.” Where did all this come from? It did not come from Jack. I tried in my strength to please God and it didn’t work. I tried to do things by the power of the flesh–pleasing God on the exterior but craving glory on the inside. I know what all this produces: anger, frustration, disappointment and unhappiness. I’m telling you folks, it is God’s grace that changes us, not our will power.
II. ESTABLISH US
I really like this Greek verb, it literally means to make stable, make firm, set fast, fix. In laymen’s terms, it means to nail down. There are many things that we need to get nailed down so we will be firmly established. Paul said to Timothy, But I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until that day. Paul said in Ephesian 4…Then we will no longer be little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching, by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit. God does not want us to be fickle and unpredictable. He does not want us to vacillate from one opinion to another, to be wishy-washy. Some folks don’t know what they believe. I know what I believe and I believe it strongly. Seminary was important for me because it gave me some time to nail some things down and I’ve been nailing things down since. I am alienated from family because of my views on abortion. Hey, I don’t see that changing. Yes, I want everyone to love me but not at the expense of my integrity. I believe the world is black and white with no gray. There is a right and a wrong but no in between. Jesus said there is a broad gate and a narrow gate: He never mentions a third gate. There is heaven and hell: a blessing and a curse but there is no gray area in the bible. People who believe in the gray are not established.
III. STRENGTHEN US
Again, this is a word that I relate to. Being a jackleg carpenter, I am familiar with nailing things down and bracing things off and this Greek word is another word for ‘brace.’ When you brace something, you make it stronger. Several years ago, our neighbor contracted a group to build him a barn. They came out and framed it in one day but they left without putting up braces. During the night, the wind got up and the barn folded up. When they got there the next day, it was on the ground.
I’m currently building my grandson a barn and as soon as we got it framed, I started putting braces on every corner and on the trusses. My grandson asked me what I was doing: I explained how important it is to brace a building.
When a strong wind is coming: you need to get braced. When turbulent times come: you need to be braced. We are braced by grace.
IV. SETTLE OR SUPPORT US
The Greek word means to lay the foundation, to found, to make stable, or establish. No one can stand through the storms of adversity unless they are standing on a firm foundation and that foundation for those of us who believe is GRACE. A song comes to mind….
Through my disappointments, Strife and discontentment
I cast my every care upon the Lord, No matter what obsession
Pain or deep depression, I’m standing on the solid rock
I’m trusting in my Savior day by day, And close is our relation
Firm is its foundation, So on this solid rock I’ll stay
Even though He’s gone now, I don’t feel alone now
With comfort came the Spirit of the Lord, Now with His word to guide me
From temptations hide me, I’m standing on the solid rock
I’m standing on the solid rock of ages (standing on the rock, on the rock of ages)
Safe from all the storm that rages (safe from every storm, all the storm that rages)
Rich but not from Satan’s wages (rich in love, I’m rich, not from Satan’s wages)
I’m standing on the solid rock.