“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”
Peter may have been only a fisherman but he certainly knew how to get ahold of the larger picture. He knew that the suffering of those to whom he was writing was a temporary and not unexpected period in their life. For their comfort, Peter provides them with a fourfold promise from God. In the Greek text each promise is a separate and independent verb (slightly obscured by the NIV). He will “restore” them (elsewhere the verb is used to describe the mending of a net and even the mending of a broken bone), make them strong, fill them with strength, and establish them on a firm foundation. These four positive verbs show that God fully intends to restore and establish those who are now suffering on his behalf. Little wonder that Peter refers to him as “the God of all grace. His unmerited favor is sufficient for any and every situation.
Restoration follows disorganization and we can be sure that the opposition the readers were facing was disruptive in the extreme. In twenty first century America we know that there is genuine suffering for Christ elsewhere in the world but by and large ours has been negligible. That could and may change. As we used to say, “We may not know the future but we know the One who holds the future.” It is he who will restore, and in time we will enter a state of eternal glory that lies far beyond our feeble attempts to describe. To love the One hated by the world (they crucified Him) is to share the disdain that evil has for righteousness. F. B. Meyer put it this way: “Not to be hated by the world; to be loved and flattered and caressed by the world – is one of the most terrible positions in which a Christian can find himself. 'What bad thing have I done,' asked the ancient sage, 'that he should speak we ll of me?'” But all such suffering is merely preparatory for an endless companionship with the God of all grace.