How does God keep us in his grace? Especially when life is hard, how does God keep us from giving up or walking away?
Trust in God’s Promise to Sustain Us
“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 ESV)
There are four key action verbs in verse 10. Restore. Confirm. Strengthen. Establish. When do we need each of these actions?
Restore When I have fallen
Confirm When I am in doubt
Strengthen When I am weak
Establish When I am slipping
Do you see how these are ideally suited to our struggles when life hurts?
- Anyone fall this week? God can and will restore you.
- Anyone in doubt this week? God can and will confirm your faith.
- Anyone feeling weak? God provides strength.
- Anyone feel their hope slipping? God will re-establish your faith again.
Now what strikes me here is who it is writing this. Someone who knows a little bit about how God restores, confirms, strengthens and re-establishes us. The famous betrayer and denier himself, Peter! Peter, who fell so far when Jesus needed him most. Peter, who ran out of the courtyard and wept bitterly. Imagine his shame and despair. Jesus will never forgive me. Jesus will never want me around him again. Jesus has given up on me. It was the dark night of Peter’s soul.
This is the same Peter who heard the sweet words of Jesus re-affirming and restoring, “Do you love me?” Peter says, Yes, Lord; you know I love you.” Then three times Jesus says, “Feed my sheep.” (John 21:15-19) Three denials. Three restorations.
Christian, I don’t know how far you’ve fallen or the doubts of your heart or the weakness and slippage of your faith, but this we know from Scripture and the testimony of the Apostle Peter—God is a God who sustains his people even in our failings. He promises to carry on his work of salvation in us and to bring us to glory.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016) unless otherwise marked. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
© 2018 by Steve DeWitt. You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that: (1) you credit the author, (2) any modifications are clearly marked, (3) you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, (4) you include Bethel’s website address (www.bethelweb.org) on the copied resource.
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