“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, AV)
There are difficult times in every person’s life. Some will undergo persecution as were the recipients of Peter’s letter. Others will undergo physical ailments, financial hardships, abusive people, job struggles, injustices, etc. Christians are not immune to these struggles of life. Jesus stated, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33, AV). Yes, various troubles will come, even unto the elect. Yet, the believer has hope that joy will come.
The Psalmist wrote, “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning” (Psalm 30:5, AV). When I pastored a small campus church in Savannah Georgia, we had this praise and worship song in our repertoire, “I’m Trading My Sorrows.” A segment of the lyrics echoes the sentiment of the Psalmist along with Parts of 2 Corinthians 4:8-9. They go like this.
I am pressed but not crushed,
Persecuted not abandoned
Struck down but not destroyed
I am blessed beyond the curse
For His promise will endure
That His joy is gonna be my strength
Though the sorrow may last for the night
His joy comes in the morning
Peter captures this thought in these words of encouragement to those believers who are undergoing persecution. God has called them “unto his eternal glory.” All believers are today experiencing God’s glory because we are in Christ. Paul wrote that believers are presently seated with Christ in the heavenly places (Eph 2:6). Yet, today we can only experience this glory in part, not in its fullness for our earthly frame is not capable to experience it without perishing. However, one day in the resurrected and glorified body all believers will experience the full presence of the glory of God. We have a glorious future. That is guaranteed. Thus, in a major way, our struggles are just temporary and our future glory is eternal. Yes, joy will come in the morning.
Yet, most believers will experience the deliverance from their earthly tribulations before meeting the Lord in heaven. Most of our struggles will have a near term end. Even in this life, the Lord will restore and strengthen us after suffering. Joy will come in the morning. However, when we enter heaven, then we will experience an infinite weight of joy that we cannot even imagine. If we could grasp the wonder of that moment, we would truly understand that our present trials are short, momentary in comparison. I heard a godly woman one time state that, “One second in heaven would wipe away the tears of a lifetime.” Joy comes in the morning.