1 Peter 4:12-19
All believers will endure suffering. The type of suffering Peter is describing in 1 Peter 4:12-19 is suffering for the cause of Christ. He helps the reader understand how to respond to suffering that comes into a believers life because they belong to Jesus.
Peter instructs the reader to expect painful trials and understand that trials are a part of the Christian’s life. When we can anticipate something, we can be ready when it comes and not be surprised. Our culture is turning more and more hostile towards Christians. As we see this developing in our society we can take measures to confront this hostility and ready ourselves for what is coming.
As these trials come, Peter tells us to rejoice. This seems counter intuitive on the surface. How can we rejoice when we experience trials for the sake of Christ. Peter mentions 4 reasons:
- We identify with the sufferings of Christ. (1 Peter 4:12)
- We will be rewarded when He returns. (1 Peter 4:13)
- The Spirit of Glory and of God rests on us. (1 Peter 4:14)
- These trials give us an opportunity to place our faith in God and commit ourselves to our Faithful Creator and continue to do good. (1 Peter 4:19)
In this passage Peter also encourages us to identify the cause of the trial we are under. He writes, “If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler.” 1 Peter 4:15) These sufferings give you the opportunity to examine your life:
- Why am I suffering? (1 Peter 4:15) Ask yourself if you are the cause of the trial.
- Am I ashamed of Christ or do I look for opportunities to praise Him? (1 Peter 4:16)
- Do I look for opportunities to introduce people to Jesus? (1 Peter 4:17-18)
How strong is someone’s faith if it is never tested? God will use the trials of this life to strengthen us for His glory and our good.