Stretching for the Finish Line
“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).
Life can seem tedious at times, performing repetitive tasks over and over again, making little headway. In fact, it can all seem endless. The Bible looks at lifespan much differently, especially for the Christian. Peter calls our life, “a little while,” while James describes it as a mist or vapor (James 4:14). We reside on earth for a small amount of time, and then we are gone.
Peter addresses believers who received persecution at the hands of their opponents. He directs their attention to the end result of a life well lived for Christ. God will restore, confirm, strengthen and establish them in the end. Interpreters differ on the precise meaning, but all conclude that God’s plan will all work out for His glory and our blessing.
People who excel at certain things often employ a strategy, a life’s strategy of sorts. Christians need a strategy, too, but fortunately God provided one for us. We need to live life in light of eternity. We should not expect an easy go of it here below. God punished sin with a curse upon the ground; we will not travel over smooth roads in life. We will compete with warring factions and conflicted individuals (James 4:1-3). A healthy Christian strategy looks beyond the afflictions to the glories to come. In the heat of battle, we may question who is on the throne. But our better spiritual sense prevails when we see the completed picture painted for us in the Bible.
1. Keep your eyes on Jesus.
We err when we resolve to “grunt it out” without looking to Jesus. Peter began to sink when he saw the waves. Do you remember when he began to walk on water? When he took Jesus at His word. We cannot lessen the pains of battle by staring at the battlefield. Our commander beckons us forward; we need to look to Him.
2. Put everything that happens in the broad context of biblical truth.
God has placed us here for a reason. We need to fulfill that purpose for His glory. God is taking out people for Himself, and directing us to follow in the footsteps of Christ (1 John 2:6; 1 Peter 2:21). The battles rage on, and at times the warfare grows fierce. God guarantees the victory and promises to be with us to the end (Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5). As a child of God, you have overcome the world (1 John 5:4). Rejoice, and rejoice greatly; but keep pressing on.
Posted on Fri, April 28, 2017
by Diane Hultgren