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Devotional - week of August 7, 2011


GOD OF ALL GRACE

 

But 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.  1 Peter 5:10

 

Since God is “the God of all grace,” why would He permit us to suffer? Should he not continually keep us free from all suffering?

 

After the Lord refused to answer Paul’s persistent prayer for the removal of his thorn in the flesh, the Lord said to him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Our weaknesses make us dependent on the “God of all grace.” He gives us grace.

 

In addition to God’s grace lifting us above our suffering, His grace perfects, establishes, strengthens and settles us.

The Greek word translated “perfect” has the idea of making us complete. In multiple ways, we all need to grow spiritually. Experiencing God’s grace results in that growth. 

 

The Greek word translated “establish” in this passage is the word Jesus used to tell Peter to “strengthen” his fellow Apostles after his conversion—his return to fellowship with Jesus after his threefold denial of him. All of the Apostles needed that restoration of fellowship with Jesus. All believers are in need of continuing fellowshp with Jesus and God’s grace keeps us in that fellowship..

 

The word translated “strenthen” is used only here in the New Testament. The idea must be that grace keeps us strong to face life and to continue in the Lord’s work. The word translated “settle” is used in Sermon on the Mount for the house “built” on a rock. Grace leads to study of the word of and obedience to the word of God which results in a solid foundation for our lives.

 

Remember that we also live by grace when we experience our oneness with Christ.