Privileged

OPENING PRAYER

Father, whatever comes my way, help me to trust it to You, knowing that You will handle it.

 

Read: 1 PETER 4:12-19

[12] Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. [13] But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. [14] If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. [15] If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. [16] However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. [17] For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? [18] And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” [19] So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good. 

 

Reflect: HOW ARE WE TO VIEW SUFFERING?

Malcolm Muggeridge, the British journalist and author, once said in an interview: “The only thing that’s taught one anything is suffering. Not success, not happiness, not anything like that. The only thing that really teaches one what life’s about… is suffering.”It’s probably not what anyone wants to hear. But if we are honest we know that although we enjoy the good times, we don’t always learn very much from them. In today’s reading, Peter reaches the climax of his teaching on how to respond in a godly fashion to suffering for Christ. He says that nothing has the potential to move us closer to Christ than going through hard times. It’s not that suffering in and of itself brings us to Christ; it’s what suffering can do to us and in us. When we are flat on our faces in sheer desperation, that’s when we truly cry out to God for help and learn to lean fully on him. But there’s more. Not only can we learn more and draw closer to Christ through suffering for him, but we can even “rejoice” in our sufferings (13), be “blessed” through them (14), and “praise God” for them (16).

 

APPLY

“I want to know Christ and share in his sufferings” (Phil. 3:10). Make this your prayer, knowing that resurrection comes.

 

CLOSING PRAYER

Faithful God, soften my heart and teach me to walk in true humility.

 

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