The last part of this verse in the Phillips translation reads, "Yet when it is all over we can see that it has quietly produced the fruit of real goodness in the characters of those who have accepted it."
1 Peter 5:10 NASB, "AFTER you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you."
In the NASB translations of these two verses there are two words that stand out to me: "afterwards" and "after." The text is clearly indicating that sometimes the Christian's life is very hard to bear. This may either be the discipline of the Lord (normative or corrective discipline), or it may be as a result of the enemy's attack (see "suffering" because of Satan's attack, 1 Peter 5:9).
No matter what the Christian goes through in his journey, no matter what may be the experience in life's race, there is always an AFTERWARD for God's people. Suffering, heartache, sorrow, grief, and sadness are not the final words for Christians. We are a people who overwhelmingly conquer through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 8:37). Our God's grace is sufficient for the need of the hour (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). Tears may flow down our cheeks like rivers of sadness, but there is a joy in the end for God's people. The Psalmist said, Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5) . For the believer in Jesus Christ the night of sorrow, of despair, and overwhelming pain, gives way to the morning of gladness, goodness, and glory. This is true because there is always an AFTERWARD for God's people. God will never leave us in the Slough of Despond. Jesus promised His disciples His own joy (John 15:11). Nothing and no one can keep Jesus from bringing His joy to the hearts of His people.
Christian friend, when joy seems like the rarest of jewels, when the night of despair seems to be interminable, let us do the following:
- We must never judge our Lord's grace and love for us in the midst of great pain when our Lord's mercies seem rare and infrequent.
- We must remember, especially when we hurt, that God is working a plan beyond the scope of our knowing. We must trust Him with all our hearts and minds.
- We must learn to leave unanswered questions with our Lord and His sovereign wisdom.
- We must remember when our strength runs out to rest fully on God's strength and grace; these will always bear us up in the waves of adversity.
- Finally, we must force ourselves to believe, no matter how hard it may seem, that there will come a time when the present pain will end and the day will grow bright with joy. There will be an AFTERWARDS.