And after you have suffered for a little while
No one likes to suffer. Suffering stinks. It’s not fun, it can be frustrating, and it can even challenge our faith. When believers (and unbelievers too) go through really hard things, you’ll often hear them saying things like, “If there was a God, why would He let this happen to me?”. It’s not a bad question to ask really. Why would He? Maybe to give you pause as to what you’re doing in life. To turn you away from a destructive path you’re on. To point you in a direction you never would have taken without a major life change. Maybe so that you would come to rely on Him fully instead of trusting in your own ways. There are so many things that can change out of tragedy. Sometimes they heal families, sometimes they free us from oppression of our families. Sometimes struggles help us to see God’s hand in things so that we may trust Him more fully. Sometimes it helps us to let go of trying to be in charge of things we cannot actually control. We don’t always understand, but that doesn’t mean that the Lord won’t use it for our good. I also want to remind you that not all suffering comes from God. Some are a result of sin and the devil. The devil wants nothing more than to make you question the Lord and His love for you. That’s the devil’s goal, to separate you from the love of God.
The God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ
So the devil’s goal is to separate you from the love of God, but God’s goal is spelled out in this verse. He, the God of all grace, has called you to His eternal glory in Christ. He wants you to spend eternity with Him, and provided His only Son as the way to make that possible. That we might forever give Him the glory. We might always point back to Him in our thoughts and actions. One of the things I love about this verse is that it says “you”. He has called you, not us. You are His focus. Yes, He cares about the rest of us, but if it was only you, He would still feel the same way. You are important to Him. He has called you.
The God of all grace will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you
God isn’t going to abandon you when you’re going through those hard times of suffering. Instead the God of all grace (what a great title) is going to restore you. He’s not going to destroy you, He’s going to build you back up. He’s going to support you. Like a mother on the sidelines of a game, He’s going to be there cheering you on, providing you with snacks and encouragement to keep your spirit and your strength up. He’s going to give you the strength you need to carry on and continue to point to Him in all you do, bringing Him the glory at all turns. Showing a reflection of Jesus to all who you meet. He’s going to establish you. He’s going to set you up. Not to make you rich necessarily, but to make you a man or woman after His own heart. Establishing your place in Heaven for all eternity. He wants only good for you.
For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. Jeremiah 29:11-12
Who can you count on to support you?