1 Peter 5:10 (NIV)
10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

Here we find the apostle offering a prayer not that they might be excused from sufferings, but that their sufferings might be moderate and short, and, after they had suffered awhile, that God would restore them to a settled and peaceable condition, and perfect his work in them�that he would establish them against wavering, either in faith or duty, that he would strengthen those who were weak, and settle them upon Christ the foundation, so firmly that their union with him might be indissoluble and everlasting.

On a trip with his wife, a pastor stopped in a small Iranian village to purchase some water. Before entering the store, the minister noticed a man holding a machine gun and leaning against the wall outside by the door. The minister's wife looked at the man's face and the gun, and then put a Bible in her husband's hand and said, "Give this man this Bible." Her husband looked at the man-his menacing beard and his machine gun-and replied, "I don't think so." But she persisted: "I'm serious. Give it to him. Please, give him the Bible."

Trying to avoid the issue, the husband said, "Okay, I'll pray about it." He went into the shop, purchased the water, climbed back in his car, and started to drive away. His wife looked at him and said, "I guess you didn't give him the Bible, did you?" Looking straight ahead, he replied, "No, I prayed about it and it wasn't the right thing to do." She quietly said, "You should have given him the Bible," and then she bowed her head and she started to pray. At that point, he turned around and told his wife, "Fine! If you want me to die, I will."

When the minister returned to the store, the man with the machine gun was still standing against the wall. The minister approached him and placed a Bible in his hand. When the man opened it and saw that it was a Bible, he started to cry. "I don't live here," he said. "I've had to walk for three days in order to get to this village. But three days ago an angel appeared to me and told me to walk to this village and wait until someone had given me the Book of Life. Thank you for giving me this book."

Fear in our lives will often cause us suffering. We know what we should do, but we linger to do the right thing. Peter understood this as he denied Christ three times. Yet Peter became the pillar of the church and died defending the word of Christ.

The minister mentioned above became a courageous witness for Christ in all things. Eventually, along with many other co-workers in the Iranian church, he was later martyred for his faith, but not before sharing the Good News of eternal life.

You see, as believers in Jesus, we're not just called to make it through the day by faith. Faith calls us to trust in Jesus Christ, to face the challenges of the day in His Name -- Not only for ourselves, but for others. In fact, we are called to be agents of His confidence and trust, proclaiming His enduring love, His eternal kingdom amidst the uncertainties and the hopelessness that are so real in our world today.

[Portions from Michael Ramsden, "An Uncompromising Faith Lived Out with Grace," Just Thinking (1-26-09)]