In Isa 9:6, the prophet provides a list of titles for the Lord, including Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. However, this impressive list is just a drop in the bucket. In the Scriptures, He is also called the Word, the Alpha and the Omega, the King of Kings, the Chief Shepherd, and the list goes on. Perhaps one lesson we can learn from the wealth of descriptions of Christ is that our Lord is so great that the number of His names can only expand as we continue to learn more about Him.
It could be argued that, as believers grow and go through different seasons of life, different titles become more significant. For example, which description of the Lord would be most helpful during a time of suffering? In 1 Pet 4:19, the Apostle Peter gives an interesting option, saying:
“Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.”
This verse is significant for several reasons. Peter is coming to the close of the book and a shift is occurring. The section that follows will include instructions for the elders, and then the apostle’s salutations. Verse 19 serves as a summary statement for chapters 3–4 as well as the theological content of the letter. First Peter deals with suffering and the salvation of the believer’s soul (or life) through trials (1:9). The word translated “soul” here is psyche and can also be translated “life.” This is not salvation from the lake of fire. This deals with the quality of the believer’s life in the coming kingdom and its deliverance or vindication through the perfecting work of trials. This is accomplished when we commit our lives to the Lord and do good. Notice, this is sanctification language, as the apostle encourages godly conduct. We see all these themes in 4:19.
Peter reminds us of WHOM we should trust for this deliverance. He is the faithful Creator. This is a unique and rather odd choice. It is the only reference to the Lord as the faithful Creator in all of Scripture. At first glance, this could come across as a little impersonal and lofty. If I am suffering, or if I know someone who is going through a hard time, I’m not sure if the Lord’s title of Creator would be my go-to description. A title such as Shepherd or High Priest might seem more comforting. However, the apostle circumvents those titles and highlights the Lord as Creator. This begs the question: Why does Peter, in his summary statement, choose this description above all the other possibilities?
Another theme in 1 Peter is suffering in light of the Lord’s soon return. Peter often speaks of the return of the Lord as the revelation of Jesus Christ (1:5, 7, 13; 4:13; 5:1). This theme is expanded upon in the apostle’s second epistle. Peter speaks of the fact that the Lord is not slack concerning His promise (2 Pet 3:9). In other words, the Lord is faithful. The context of this passage is also the Lord’s return. Peter goes on to describe what this will look like in verses 10-12. He says the heavens will pass away, and this world will be burned up (v 10). He urges his readers to look for the coming of the Lord and to conduct themselves with godliness in light of the passing away of this world (vv 11-12). His conclusion to this section echoes the message of 1 Pet 4:19:
“Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Pet 3:13).
This world will one day be destroyed, but there is a promise of something much greater to follow. The faithful Creator is going to make new heavens and a new earth. Sadly, many in Christendom today do not know this incredible truth. Many see our eternal home as an abstract location where we float around in the clouds. However, Peter speaks of a new creation. Just as the Ancient of Days once created this world, He will do so again, making new heavens and a new earth for us to dwell in for all eternity. However, this new world will be sinless, without pain, and the place where righteousness will dwell forever.
Far from a lofty and impersonal description, the apostle draws upon a profoundly comforting characteristic of Christ. The day is coming when the sufferings of this present world will be eclipsed by the fulfillment of the faithful Creator’s promises. Therefore, the suffering believer can commit his life to this One, knowing that what is done in Him will not be destroyed.