Thursday, August 16, 2018
1 Peter 4:12-19 (NKJV)
Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 14If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. 15But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. 16Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter. 17For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18Now “If the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?” 19Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.
To pursue a problem-free life is to run after an elusive fantasy. Jesus was made perfect through suffering (Hebrew 2:10). Without the cross, there is no crown. Paul had his own experience of suffering (2 Cor. 11: 24-29)
Are you under persecutions, excruciating problems, trials and hardship? Are you buffeted by the storms of life or denied your rights? Are you punished unjustly, disgraced, ridiculed, or have all kinds of evil uttered against you falsely? Have you been abandoned, ill-treated, neglected, forsaken, abandoned by friends and without food, shelter, clothes and relatives? These things will test your faith. Do not give up but emerge as refined gold. God delivers the righteous from all afflictions (Psalms 34:19).
Saints triumphant tasted sufferings and overcame. The sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the future glory. We must not suffer as murderers, thieves, kidnappers, liars, adulterers, fornicators, wrongdoers and mischief-makers. These will bring disgrace to ourselves, God and the Church and we must remember that judgment will start from God’s house.
Experience of suffering is required of us by God as His Children (1 peter 5:9). In suffering there is patience, with it we will be restored, established, strengthened and built on the solid Rock as we contend for the faith once for all delivered unto the saints. As we partake in the fellowship of His sufferings we glorify God, knowing that every problem has a lifespan.
Prayer: Lord, give us grace to be strong in the faith so that as we share in suffering as good soldiers of Jesus Christ, we overcome in Jesus’ Name. Amen.