When you meet the kind of Christians who trust God as their faithful Creator, you will know it. Such saints have a mark they cannot hide. Not only do they walk through suffering with an abiding peace in Jesus; they also walk through suffering with an eye toward others: “Let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.”
In days of darkness, God regularly delivers his comfort and strength to us through four simple words: “I am with you.”
I am with you. The promise comes to God’s fearful people across time and testaments: to Isaac in Beersheba (Genesis 26:24), Moses at the burning bush (Exodus 3:12), David in the valley (Psalm 23:4), the disciples as he commissions them (Matthew 28:20). The living God knows what we need most in our deepest distress: not answers, but the promise of his presence.
And yet, the power of this promise rises only as high as our knowledge of the one who gives it. The presence of a vague Benevolence is of little help when suffering steals toward us. And so, God not only promises his people that he is with them; he also reminds them of who he is.
When we walk through the valley of deep darkness, defenseless as a sheep, he calls himself Shepherd (Psalm 23:4). When we lie face down, overpowered by enemies too strong for us, he calls himself Redeemer (Isaiah 43:14). And when we feel small, vulnerable and afflicted in a dangerous world, he calls himself Creator: “Let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good” (1 Peter 4:19).
Our Faithful Creator
Small, vulnerable, and afflicted describes how many must have felt when they received the letter we know as 1 Peter. Already “grieved by various trials,” they did not know where suffering’s shadow would descend next (1 Peter 1:6; 4:12). They were the threefold target of a world that maligned them, a flesh that besieged them, and a devil that stalked them (1 Peter 4:4; 2:11; 5:8).
Into that fear, uncertainty, and pain, Peter speaks a promise. He has already assured them that they are “God’s people,” heirs of the pledge “I am with you” (1 Peter 2:10). Now, he lifts their eyes above their trials, above their enemies, even above all heaven and earth, to remind them that that God who calls them “My people” is also their “faithful Creator” (1 Peter 4:19).
“Know this, my brothers and sisters,” Peter says in effect, “The God who walks with you, who hems you in behind and before, is not only your Savior, Redeemer, and Lord, but also the Maker of the mountains, the Crafter of the skies.” And for those bought by the blood of Jesus, this Creator is not only mighty, but faithful — even to the smallest, most vulnerable, most afflicted among his people.
Sovereign over Creation
If we embrace God as our faithful Creator in our suffering, we will begin to find two unmoving rocks beneath our feet. First, God governs all creation from the highest to the lowest, from the farthest to the nearest — from the orbits of moons in unseen galaxies to the shadows of leaves in our front yard.