We come upon the conclusion of Peter’s letter today. Unlike Paul’s letters, Peter will finish quickly. As we finish up this letter, the two elements that come into play as a positive response to the suffering that he has talked about is God’s grace and our faith. That they work in concert where we can see God moving us forward. Because if we lose those elements, we will not only feel beaten down in life, but we will look beaten down. But Peter will point again that we are not defined by suffering, but defined by who we are in the midst of suffering. says that if we don’t stand in our faith, we will not stand at all.
Peter is reminding them that God bestows on us who he is because of who he is. That God is of all grace, so he pours that grace on us all the time. So when you are going through tough times, it can be easy to ask, “Where is God’s grace?’ It is actually the existence of suffering or evil that will be the reason that people in this world will use to not believe or follow God. But because this ugliness comes from us, in the midst of our failures, God reaches out to us with grace.
God has called us to eternal glory in Christ. This is calling to something beyond us, an eternal point. We have to keep our eyes fixed on God, so that even through the tough times we will be moving in the right direction. Otherwise we will feel wrong in the suffering and fine in the good times and nether could be right.
Peter uses four words to describe us being grounded in God. The first is “restore”. This means to bring parts together into right order. It was used for those who mended nets to be useful again in fishing. Have you ever felt broken in suffering? It is God who will mend parts and bring you back together. In Paul speaks of Christ building up or restoring the body of Christ.
The next three words Peter uses work together being “strong, firm, and steadfast” meaning a solid, foundational position. That you will stand firm when the suffering tries to push you. That your foundation in Christ and God’s truth will carry you through.
Peter then concludes with giving God praise. He then mentions the help he received write this letter to the readers. That Peter knows what it is like to have doubts, fears, and suffering. That Peter isn’t just some armchair intellectual thinking about these problems. But he was broken to the point that Jesus called him the enemy! But Peter now communicates that need to stand fast and God will restore us in any situation.
While in that time, it was customary to kiss friends, it might not be culturally the same now. But the idea is the same. Love on one another, hug one another, and brace one another through the tough times. There are brothers and sisters throughout the world that are going through suffering we could not understand. But the response to suffering is the same. Live in God’s grace and walk by faith.
Accept Jesus as Savior.
Submit to God, so He can lift you up.
Live each day to glorifying God.
9 And the head of Ephraim is Samaria,
and the head of Samaria is the son of Remaliah.
If you are not firm in faith,
you will not be firm at all.’” (ESV)
10 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. (ESV)
12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, (ESV)
11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
12 By Silvanus, a faithful brother as I regard him, I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it. 13 She who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen, sends you greetings, and so does Mark, my son. (ESV)
14 Greet one another with the kiss of love.
Peace to all of you who are in Christ. (ESV)