Scripture: 1 Peter 4:15-16
Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.
Insights: Yesterday we learned that we ought to worship when we face testing regarding our faith. Today, we learn we ought to worship when we suffer persecution for Jesus. These have been two “happy day” kind of subjects, haven’t they? Just like yesterday, today’s verses reveal three aspects to this suffering. Firstly, our suffering ought not to be a result of sin. In other words, murderers, thieves, evildoers and meddlers suffer the natural consequences of their sin. We, however, suffer because of the persecution we face for being a Christian. This kind of suffering is different from the natural consequences of sin and that is why Peter tells us to make certain we do not suffer as these worldly sinners do. Secondly, our suffering ought not to produce shame. In other words, as we suffer for Jesus, we ought not to be ashamed that we are His children. We are not suffering because of sin as the first point indicated, therefore, we out not to be ashamed of our allegiance to Jesus either. Let us not take the light of life that changed us and hide it under a bushel where no one can see that we are His children because we fear what others will say about us if they find out we are Christ-followers. Thirdly, we ought to suffer in such a way that God is brought glory because we have remained faithful to Him. Beloved, I know that personally, I often feel like a complete failure and Satan attacks me with insult, insinuation and tries to grip my heart with fear. Other days I feel ten feet tall and am ready to charge hell with a water pistol. What I am learning, and am constantly being taught, is that my feelings are irrelevant to the equation with God. Faith is acting out what I know in my heart to be true no matter what I feel. As I live this kind of life, persecution is the normal and natural byproduct of such obedience. If I remain faithful, He is brought glory through me. Beloved, live such a life for your King and may He be brought glory!
1. Are you suffering the consequences of sin?
2. Are you suffering is such a fashion for your faith that God is being brought glory because of your faithfulness to Him?
Prayer: Father, I am a sinner and often times I suffer because of the consequences of sin. I, however, do not wish to suffer in this way and bring about shame in my life or upon You. Rather, if I must suffer, I would desire for my suffering to bring You glory. Strengthen me, Lord, to live life for You. Amen.