10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. 11 To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 5:10-11
When Peter wrote this letter, it was likely just before or in the first stages of Nero’s concerted persecution of Christians. It’s interesting to see both Peter and Paul on the same world stage as this vile emperor. We read of all the creative ways Nero killed Christians, from throwing them to wild beasts to burning them alive. These stories had to strike fear into their hearts, no matter how courageous. Perhaps Peter’s preoccupation with suffering in this letter was meant to prepare those who would go through this terrible time. The crux of his message was that, no matter what was thrown at them, the God of all grace would “perfect” them, or as the word means, to join them back together, certainly in glory. Many suffer similarly today under ruthless dictatorships. They too can draw comfort from these words. However, if what we experience is, as Paul put it, “momentary, light affliction,” (2 Cor. 4:17) we know that in “a little while” we, the called, will be “perfected, confirmed, strengthened, and established.” Why? Because we serve a God whose dominion is over the most powerful rulers here and in the heavens, “forever and ever.” Amen.