1 Peter 4:12-19
New International Version (NIV)
12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be 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 sinner?”
19 So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.
This passage on suffering starts by telling us not to be surprised at the ‘fiery ordeal’ that comes to test us. Jesus, while alive on earth, told us, “If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you also (Matt. 15:20).” If someone is willing to try to harm Jesus Christ, Who was, is, and always will be the Son of God, then they will surely try to harm His followers. Jesus said for us not to be surprised by the persecution, but to be happy that we are able to participate in the persecution of Christ, ‘so that we can be overjoyed when His glory is revealed.’ In verse 14 of this passage, it says, “If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.” Do not be afraid to be made fun of, isolated, or persecuted in other ways. Consider it a blessing to suffer for the name of Christ. In verse 16 it says, “However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.” Do not be afraid to stand for your belief in Jesus Christ! Make your everyday walk look different to those around you.
If you are not approached or ridiculed for your belief at some point,
then do you truly believe in it?
Examine your walk with God today. Can people see Him in you? Are you willing to suffer for his name?