1 Peter 4:12-19 … Suffering for Christ. We seldom see true suffering for Christ in our own country, but certainly see signs of it in hostile countries of the world where Christians are terrorized and even killed because of their faith. Depending on your circumstances on the international stage you might see the intolerance and hatred that can inhabit human beings and it is an ugly sight. Yet the encouragement of Peter here is not to be surprised at that hatred because people hated Christ first; they love darkness more than light. And if suffering comes, will we be strong enough to withstand it? Peter’s encouragement is to rejoice because you’re displaying visible signs of the Holy Spirit and of God (1 Peter 4:14).
There is further admonishment for Christians not to be found suffering because of sinful and anti-social behavior (v.15). That would be suffering because of that bad behavior, not at all related to a good testimony for Christ.
If suffering is to come our way, let it be because we’re allowing Christ to live through us. And if such suffering does come, which it can, let it be because of our faithfulness as we learn to trust Christ more and more. That’s the message the inspired Peter wants us to have. That’s the level of confidence and trust in Christ that believers should develop as they grow spiritually.
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