I have a little devotional book and it is Called “In Touch, Every Day from the Living Bible“. Each day the reading is a group of Scriptures put together from the Living Bible translation in topical form. Many mornings it is the first thing I grab just to get my mind going where it should. One particular day the first verse was from Revelation 21:23 ” The city has no need of sun or moon to light it, for the glory of God and of the Lamb illuminate it“. Several other verses followed (of which I will give the reference to at the end) and the first group focused on Heaven and Jesus. They mentioned the Glory of the Lord, bright light, the dazzling white face of Jesus, and the Lord our God as our everlasting light. God was reminding me of what is to come! This life is just a speck compared to Heaven and seeing the Glory of the Lord.
The last paragraph of verses dealt with suffering. They give the assurance that our suffering here lasts “a little while” and that God will help us while we are here. We just have to understand that rough times will occur while we are Earth people, this place is not our home. Listen to 1 Peter 5:10, “ 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)
As I studied this I found out that the phrase “a little while” means from the time Jesus ascended to the time of His return. I don’t know about y’all but this does’t sound like a “little while” nor does it feel like it. How it sounds or feels to us is not the point. To God it is a short time, and well, God’s opinion is the only one that matters. So, no matter how long or intense our suffering is, it is so short compared to our Eternity with God. This life is just a breath, a preparation of what awaits us….”for the glory of God and the Lamb illuminate it“.
Notice the four verbs: restore, confirm, strengthen and establish. Then take note of the One doing the action. It is the Lord God Himself! It is God who restores (in His time) what we have lost for the sake of Christ. Suffering comes first, then Eternal Glory. Because God called us by His grace we can be SURE He will fortify us with His strength so we are able to endure the sufferings we face on this Earth.
This gives me so much hope today. God is letting me and all of us know that HE SEES. He sees the attacks of the enemy against us and He loves us and is shielding us from things that we cannot see. He knows those who love Him, worship Him and truly desire to follow Him. We must rest in Him and the promise He has given us about our Heavenly home.
I don’t know what you are suffering from or through. It may be a physical battle with your health or the health of a loved one. You may have a child in the far country or a wayward spouse. It may be financial and you truly don’t know how you will make it through the month. Your battle may be spiritual. I have a dear friend who has been in a spiritual battle of the mind. The enemy loves to attack her there and try to throw her off and hinder her walk with God and her work for His Kingdom. Ladies, this is why we must read and know our Bibles. We must put His Word in our minds so we have a well from which to drink when the fiery attacks come. We must put out the fire with the Word of God.
Whatever you are suffering through, I am going to make what some may call a bizarre suggestion; ignore it. And by that I mean don’t give the enemy any more attention. He loves attention and the more we focus on him and the suffering we may be going through, the less we are focusing on God. Let me leave you with these wise words from Peter,
” So be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead, even though the going is rough for a while down here.” 1 Peter 1:6
All Scripture for this post: Revelation 21:23, Acts 26:13 & 15, Matthew 17: 1-2, Isaiah 60:19-20, 1 Peter 5:10, 1 Peter 1:6 (Living Bible and ESV Bible)