“But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” (1 Peter 5:10)
The order is settled: suffering first, then glory. There was a time when Peter wanted to get around it. He tried unsuccessfully to correct his Master. “Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.” (Matt. 16:22) But Jesus would have nothing of Peter’s “wisdom” — “But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” (Matt. 16:23)
In time, Peter’s understanding changed greatly. He took hold, not only of the message that Christ had to suffer and die before He could enter His glory, but all those who are Christ’s must follow His pattern. No cross, no crown. No suffering, no glory. To the question: “Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?” (Luke 24:26); we say, “Yes, indeed.” But to the question – must we suffer to enter glory, we are less sure. The apostles though were certain.
“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18)
“For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren” (Hebrews 2:10,11)
Are we willing to dwell together in unity with our heavenly Brother? “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1) If we will share His crown, we must share His cross. He once suffered for us; we must now suffer with Him.
God had the greatest purpose in the Son’s suffering; and He has the greatest purpose in ours. He would perfect us through the things we suffer. He would cause us to learn obedience through the things we suffer. He would bring us to the eternal glory of His Son! There is glory to be entered into, not only when this life is over, but even now. Have the same mind toward suffering that your Master did:
“Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.” (1 Peter 4:1,2)