“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.”
who called us
“Called” is more than an invitation. “Called” means that God through the Holy Spirit takes the initiative to bring the gospel to every person on earth; he convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (Jn 16:8-15). He leaves no stone unturned in bringing someone to Christ. This is a divine call that the one called hears or rejects. The person who embraces that call stands as someone called out as God’s special own.
When God summons the believer to himself, he will never abandon him. He calls people to praise him.
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).
Suffering is also in God’s eternal plan. In eternity past, God planned a certain amount of suffering for the life of the Christian. Suffering is no cosmic accident.
“For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps” (1 Peter 2:20-21).
It is part of God’s eternal plan for us that we should suffer for His glory.
God calls us for His purpose. What did he have in mind? He could have done better, but he selected you and me to conform to the image of His Son. As far as God is concerned, it is as good as done already. Nothing can thwart the purpose of God. The purpose of God’s call is to make us just like His Son,
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:28-29).
From eternity, God called us to salvation:
“God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:9).
“But we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Corinthians 1:23-25).
“Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus” (Hebrews 3:1).
“Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:10).
“These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful” (Revelation 17:14).
Suffering is part of God’s plan to witness to His glory,
“Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day” (2 Timothy 1:9-12).