Christian believers all over the world are going through hard times in one form or another. The church of Peter’s day was going through all sorts of trials and sufferings and he addresses them in this letter. He touches on many issues as he helps us, today, to live for God in an ungodly world…
1 Peter 4
So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin. 2 You won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God. 3 You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy—their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols.
4 Of course, your former friends are surprised when you no longer plunge into the flood of wild and destructive things they do. So they slander you. 5 But remember that they will have to face God, who stands ready to judge everyone, both the living and the dead. 6 That is why the Good News was preached to those who are now dead—so although they were destined to die like all people, they now live forever with God in the Spirit.
7 The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. 8 Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.
10 God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 11 Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.
Suffering for Being a Christian
12 Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. 13 Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.
14 If you are insulted because you bear the name of Christ, you will be blessed, for the glorious Spirit of God rests upon you. 15 If you suffer, however, it must not be for murder, stealing, making trouble, or prying into other people’s affairs. 16 But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name! 17 For the time has come for judgment, and it must begin with God’s household. And if judgment begins with us, what terrible fate awaits those who have never obeyed God’s Good News? 18 And also,
“If the righteous are barely saved,
what will happen to godless sinners?” (Proverbs 11:31)
19 So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you.1 Peter 4
Points to Ponder
- If you put the will of God first, you have power over sin. But, how do you know what the will of God is? By reading the Bible and praying.
- God will eventually judge EVERYONE — both the living and the dead. Born-again believers who heard the Good News (Gospel) and accepted Jesus, will be pardoned for their sins on the Judgement Day. “What will happen to godless sinners?” That’s a great question! The answer is in the Book of Revelation.
- The end of the world is coming soon. Yeah, right, they’ve been saying that since Peter’s day and we’re still waiting. Ah, but Peter addresses this in his next letter. Stay tuned! And we can see the signs of the times!
- Be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. That means talking to God as much as possible. Nothing is too small or too big for God!
- Love one another.
- Discover and use your spiritual gifts. Here is a podcast I did on Spiritual Gifts.
- Understand that your trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering. Moreover, you will have “wonderful joy” when we experience His glory when it is revealed to all the world.
- Keep doing good. If you suffer because you did something bad, then it’s your own fault. However, as Peter said at the end of this chapter…
19 So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you.
We are Saved by Grace to do Good Works
Remember Jesus overcame sin and death. Because of God’s generous gift of grace, that we could never earn on our own — nor ever deserve it, we have the hope of eternal life, a confident hope that this world is not all there is! Thank you, Jesus!
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, this is what you have to do…