Promise of Suffering - 1 Peter 4:12
August 1, 2023, 8:00 AM

"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you."

I introduced the topic of suffering in the life of the Christian as recorded by Peter in the last part of Chapter 4. Not only is suffering painful because of the fall of man and the call of Christ, it is also promised, so don’t be surprised. It will happen. It is proper to ask the why question. It is a way of also crying out to God for that which we don’t understand; the situations we face that cause us physical and emotional pain. It is a road all of us walk down as humans, but don’t be surprised if this comes because of your faith in Christ.

If you are a true follower of Jesus Christ, count on two things. Satan and his evil forces will be seeking to give you trouble because you are His follower and you will have times in your life when you will be tempted to want to quit the faith and question if God really does care and knows what you are going through. It doesn't seem fair! It is during these times that divine faith takes over; we walk by faith not by sight. Suffering is one of the tools that brings us into a closer walk with God.

There is a brand of Christian teaching that teaches instead that suffering is not God’s design for a Christian. Yet here Peter says do not be surprised when it comes. Satan uses all kinds of tactics to discourage our faith walk. Pray. Cry out to God. Be aware that He holds you in His hands when the days are dark and know they will get better.

It never says in the Bible that if we are good and do what He wants, we will get what we want in this world. It does say, "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you as well." What things? The things that we need to accomplish His righteousness and advance His kingdom. He will supply your needs in the riches of Jesus.

People don't like guilty feelings and if we declare some things are wrong and right, expect some form of rejection. However, be aware that even though people do not accept Christ or His teaching, do not distain those who are victims of spiritual ignorance. The ones outside of Jesus Christ are to be pitied. Pray for them and show a deeper love even to our enemies. That is what Jesus did and taught.

Be mindful that Jesus knows and brings the victory as we walk with Him through suffering and persecution.

Prayer: Lord, God I praise You that as I cry out to You, You will bring victory in all things that we face.