10b After that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
Earlier, Peter has said in this verse that God of all grace has called us unto eternal glory by Christ Jesus. But the path through which our gracious God leads us to His eternal glory is strewn with suffering. As we journey through this world, we must be prepared to bear sufferings which we will encounter from time to time. It may appear strange that our gracious God would permit us to be afflicted. However, let us acknowledge that for the present, it is our lot to suffer according to His gracious plan for us.
We may not all experience similar sufferings, but none of us shall be wholly free from them. Jesus said in John 16:33, “In the world ye shall have tribulation”. Our sufferings may be inward or they may come from without. But as Peter has stated, it shall only be for “a while”. The word “while” can mean “for a short or brief time”. In view of the eternal glory that we shall soon inherit, Peter considers our earthly sufferings as just for a little while. This statement by Peter is very much in line with the apostle Paul’s declaration: “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17). Our sufferings are short in the light of eternity; they are light when compared with the exceeding and eternal weight of glory. The contrast between the brevity of our earthly sufferings and the perpetuity of our glory cannot be more pronounced. For the moment, the suffering seems severe; but it is both little and brief, compared to the glory of eternity.
Whatever we may have to suffer, be it an assault on our character or possession or body, let us fix our thoughts increasingly on the eternal glory that we shall soon inherit. Assuredly, our sufferings of this present time will not last forever. Moreover, the God of all grace will sustain and nurture us through our affliction. Peter tells us that He will make us “perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle” us. Our suffering does not contradict the grace of our God. Whether our suffering be a chastisement or trial of faith, His grace will use it as a means for perfecting, establishing, strengthening and settling us. Whatever be our ordeals, we are not going to get worse and worse in our faith, conduct or service. The God of all grace will ensure that we are being equipped, strengthened and established in faith, hope and holiness as a people of eternal glory. So, let us also pray that in our suffering, the Lord will perfect His good work in us.