God’s Working People
Our Work During Suffering – Part II
Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 4:1-19
Key Verse: 1 Peter 4:12
Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you.
As Peter was writing to God’s people, he was aware that they were going through tough times. Peter called them “fiery trials”.
The people that he was addressing were regular people, just like us. They probably had questions, and maybe expressed them to Peter, such as, “why are we going through these things”.
The Apostle wanted to let them know that they should not look at trials as something strange that was happening to them. To put it in modern terms, Peter was telling them of the “new normal” for their lives. It is not easy, but we need to get this “new normal” firmly planted in our heads as well.
Serving Jesus and living like Jesus as best as we know how does not give us a pass on suffering. In fact, look what Luke wrote:
Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets. (Luke 6:26)
The New Testament makes it clear that when we stand firm in our faith and refuse to compromise the lifestyle standards that Jesus taught, we will face a backlash from this world. On top of this fact, just living in this world means we will have pain and suffering. Jesus taught:
“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matthew 5:44-45)
Take note of the last sentence: “God causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good; He sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
In other words, by living in this world, we experience some of the same things as unbelievers. We cannot escape the pain and suffering that this world dishes out.
The good news is that our Father in heaven has promised to walk with us through these times of suffering and sustain us with His strength. But… do not think it is strange that you are going through tough times. And do not think that these tough times are always caused by something you did or did not do.
First Peter 4 emphasizes that we should never forget how Jesus suffered for us and our salvation. It is because of Jesus’s death and resurrection that all the promises of God are guaranteed to us during our times of suffering (2 Corinthians 1: 20).
Be very glad that your trials make you partners with Christ (1 Peter 4:13).
Father, I will trust Your faithfulness to me during my suffering. Grant me Your wisdom and strength to stand firm in my faith in Jesus. It is in Jesus’s Name I pray, amen.