But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
1 Peter 5:10 (KJV)
Suffered – Peter writes to the “strangers scattered” (1 Peter 1:1) who are the “sheep gone astray” (1 Peter 2:25). This repeats Yeshua’s words how He came for the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matthew 15:24). They were being reconciled to God by Yeshua’s death and resurrection. These lost sheep were returning to their first love. But it wasn’t easy for the house of Israel to make this return. Suffering was a part of it.
Have you experienced this? God has called you to His glory, but not without suffering. Why must we go through this? Peter provides an answer. He says the suffering makes us perfect, it establishes us, strengthens us, and settles us. That’s an amazing proclamation. We’re called to rejoice in that suffering knowing that our faith will grow stronger through it.
Are you asking that God spares us and protects us from trials and tribulation? Maybe we should rethink that. Without suffering, we don’t grow. We become stagnant. Unfortunately this is where many of us are currently. We need to break out of this mediocre state and grow in the Lord. Maybe our prayers should be revised that YHWH strengthens us and prepares us for His will… even if it’s trials and tribulation that He’s bringing. Don’t protect me from it… instead, prepare me for it. Don’t we desire perfection (which is holiness), a firm foundation, strength, and peace? Then be ready to suffer.
The Greek word is paschō and always carries a negative connotation in regards to experiencing something that comes from the outside. In fact in order to denote a positive experience, it must be stated so in the usage of the word. While the Rabbis and pseudepigrapha use this word in relation to suffering punishments or afflications, the apostles, especially Peter use it to define undeserved punishment.
This is the life of those who walk in the way. Expect undeserved punishment for being a follower of Yeshua. But know that this will produce good things in you and those with whom you fellowship.