1 Peter 4:12–19 (ESV)
Suffering as a Christian
12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you
share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. 15 But
let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. 17 For
it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And
“If the righteous is scarcely saved,
what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”
19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.
God permits suffering in our lives for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it comes as a direct result of our own sin in order to discipline us. Other times it is an effect of being God’s child in a world that wants to crush His
Church. Although we do not know God’s hidden will, we trust He has only the best in mind for us. He will strengthen, uphold, and bless us in the midst of persecution. He will use any afflictions we face for our good or for blessing others. With our eyes
on the cross, we can endure. Our God will preserve us, and He has prepared an eternal home for us in heaven for the sake of Christ.
I pray: Lord God, in the midst of
trials and persecution, keep our hearts and minds stayed on You, our only refuge. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 2157.