“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. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 5:10-11 (ESV)
Perhaps it seems out of place to begin the New Year with a benediction. The New Year may not always be as “Happy” as we would wish, but as Christians we are blessed in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3) and can look forward to a “Blessed New Year” throughout the problems that may come. Suffering is a common experience for all humans. None seek it out but we know that it is part of our walk with Jesus Christ for He promises that we will suffer for His sake as we proclaim our faith in Him. So, Peter confirms for us that suffering is going to be ours for a “little while.” But, afterward, God promises that He Himself will be the one who will restore us, and confirm us, and strengthen us, and then establish us. What a promise that is! We are members of God’s family and we live in His dominion. This is what will be ours for eternity. So, the suffering of last year and the suffering we will encounter this year is all but for “a little while” when the rest will be ours for eternity.