Encouragements for our troubled times No. 54

COVID-19 Series | Date: 01 April 2021

The Elders and Deacons want to encourage the members and those who regularly meet with us through this weekly letter. If you have news which you would be happy to share with the fellowship or request for prayer, then please let us know.

A message from our Pastor

1 Peter 5:10-11

“May the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

As Peter brings his letter to the elect pilgrims of the dispersion to a close, he prays a short prayer for them. In the prayer, he does not ask that they, who have in some cases, lost everything, should prosper in this life. He does not ask that they, who in many cases are suffering persecution for their testimony for Christ, should be free of their sufferings. Instead, he prays that they should be kept so that they may persevere to the end and receive eternal glory.

Firstly, he prays ‘may the God of all grace,’ keep them. For it is our God and His grace that we count on so that we may persevere to the end. Left to ourselves, relying on our own strengths and efforts, we would fail to persevere. We are weak and so easily dragged down by our besetting sins back into our old ways. Our adversary, the devil, is too cunning and strong for us, and this world so full of temptations, that we could never keep true to our God or our high calling in Christ Jesus. It takes the Almighty power of our God to keep us for Himself. And we are totally dependent on His grace for this, for He loved us freely and elected us to eternal life by His grace. It is His grace toward us and not any graces in us that our salvation counts upon.

Secondly, He has ‘called us to His glory by Christ Jesus.’ We were not called so that we might, if we work hard enough, in the end, join Him in His glory, no we were called for this purpose. God always intended that His elect would be with Him in glory and that He would lose none of them. To ensure this our calling to His glory is by Christ Jesus. It is not by our works or merits but by His works and His merits that we are kept. We shall enjoy God’s glory because of what our Saviour did for us, on the cross of Calvary, that first Good Friday. It is due to that great love with which He loved us and that terrible price which He paid for us, that He will keep us to the end.

Now we will have to suffer for a while during our life in this fallen world, but it is only for a short time, eternal glory awaits us. And while we wait our God will be at work in us to ensure that we persevere. He will be working in us to perfect us; to make us more and more into the likeness of our Saviour. Establish us; to set us fast and fix us firmly in Christ, so that we will be unmovable. Strengthen us in the power of His might so that we may be able to persevere through all things. And settle us in a firm union with Christ so that we will not be moved. God himself will confirm us and establish us for our final perseverance to enjoy God’s glory.

At the end, when we are with Him in glory, our perseverance will be all down to Him and His dominion over all things bringing about all things together for our good. And our song will be ‘to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.