Suffering as a Christian – 1 Peter 4:12 – 19
12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is taking place among you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of glory, which is the Spirit of God, is resting on you. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, a criminal, or even as a mischief maker. 16 Yet if any of you suffers as a Christian, do not consider it a disgrace, but glorify God because you bear this name.17 For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God; if it begins with us, what will be the end for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And
“If it is hard for the righteous to be saved,
what will become of the ungodly and the sinners?”
19 Therefore, let those suffering in accordance with God’s will entrust themselves to a faithful Creator, while continuing to do good.
What does the passage say?
V. 12-16 Peter says that suffering for the sake of Christ is something to rejoice. The reason for the believers to rejoice is because of the glory they will receive when standing in front of our Lord. If the suffering comes from bearing God’s name, not because we broke the law or committed any crimes, it is a sign that the spirit of the Lord is resting on us.
V. 17- 19 Peter says that all people will be measured according to God’s judgement. He says it will begin with us, the believers. Therefore, this is the attitude of life we should live. “Therefore, let those suffering in accordance with God’s will entrust themselves to a faithful Creator, while continuing to do good” v. 19 NRSV.
What does this mean to me/us
When suffering comes to our life, we can easily blame God and turn away from Him. Peter is offering a new perspective to view suffering in our lives.
“ Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.” v. 12 – 13 The Message
Suffering can become a tool to see God’s love and God’s ‘spiritual refining process.’ Even though we might want to avoid the suffering, bearing Christ might lead us to that path.
However, we will have to remember that God will not allow us to go into any suffering we can’t bear.
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV
Hold on to the faithfulness of God, and see how God works in our daily lives. May the Spirit be with us today.
What does this MEAN to you?
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