This series reminds us of the necessity of suffering as we to continue on the road of sanctification. If you are uncomfortable with the thought of suffering for the cause of Christ, shift your focus from the trial to the fruit that is produced as a result. That is the point. Our trials are not endured in vain but for the advancement of the Kingdom. Let us review 1 Pet 5:10 and explore the four Greek verbs in that text that describe how God graciously transforms us through our sufferings.
1 Pet 5:10
After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace [who imparts His blessing and favor], who called you to His own eternal glory in Christ, will Himself complete, confirm, strengthen, and establish you [making you what you ought to be].
This word originates from two words that mean to get ready or to prepare. It is used elsewhere in the bible to describe something being restored to a prior condition or joined together. A commentary by Adam Clarke tells us that this word can be used in the context of putting someone “in complete joint as the timbers of a building.” This presents a picture of God using our sufferings to correct our design, to rebuild us as he originally planned us to be. This is restoration from sin to sanctity, and it comes as a result of the trials we are called to endure.
We see this word also used in 1 Corin. 1:10. In that verse, Paul is appealing to the church in Corinth to be united perfectly in the same frame of mind and the same judgment. Now, this is not a unity within a single person’s body but within the corporate body. It is a unity that brings together the separate parts of the church so that they work in unison, each part fulfilling its duty and complementing every other part.
Without God we are broken and ill-functioning. He uses sanctification to realign and rejoin our spiritual parts, and that allows us not only to function individually but also to fulfill our duty within the greater body of the church. This is a progression, and the trials we endure are evidence of God’s grace working to generate this precious fruit. Let us embrace the suffering required to become more like Christ, because that is the end to which we look forward.