A Little Time Longer

“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 Peter 5:10-11).

Peter’s “little while” in the verse above, describes our present life. Elsewhere, he calls it “the time of your exile” (1 Peter 1:17). Of course we can only make sense of the expression “a little while”, if we compare it with the life that is to come. Life to come will never end, nor will we face the troubles experienced in this world. In fact, God will ban such troubles from the universe:

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

Putting our life in relation to eternity helps us to cope with present struggles. The sufferings do not seem too great when we look forward to life unending in heaven. Think of some of the struggles we face now. Young people struggle with the pains of growing up and facing new responsibilities. Adults face other battles, such as those brought on by career and family. Older people must cope with the debilitating effects of aging, not able to do the things they used to do. And then every Christian faces ongoing struggles with a world that does not recognize God’s rule.

The greater the promise, the more patience we’re willing to exercise:

“But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience” (Romans 8:25).

When we face battles that seem to weigh us down, think of the bigger picture. Truly we must place things in context. God has rescued us from this world by virtue of His Son’s work on the cross:

“He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son” (Colossians 1:13).

Of course, God asks us to wait for His Son, whom He will send once again, to take us to be with Him forever. When we look to those promises and believe that God will deliver them, we can exercise greater patience in this life.

Think of the prisoner of war who gets rescued. He is told he will need to receive medical treatment, and then experience a long debriefing with military intelligence. He then will be placed on a plane for a long flight to Washington. There he goes through more debriefings. Only then will he be allowed to go home to waiting loved ones. Do you think he faints because he must wait? Not on your life. He waits every minute with eager anticipation, looking forward to a grand reunion. If only we would think this way, looking for the coming day of God (2 Peter 3:12).

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