Today’s Word for the Day is taken from 1 Peter 4:15-16. Please read that text now.
Yesterday we discussed the reality for the Christian is to expect to suffer. In other words, suffering is our portion. I also said that suffering is common for mankind because we live in a fallen and broken world. Notice in 1 Peter 4:15 Peter warns against suffering for sinful behavior. He is telling us that suffering from the consequences of our own sinful behavior is not suffering for Christ. But in verse 16 Peter informs the disciple of Christ that there is no shame in suffering for Christ. Even more, we can glorify God in our suffering for Christ. So here’s the principle: if we’re going to suffer in this fallen world, let’s suffer because we are faithful not because we have failed in our walk with God.
While I was in America, I was able to rejoin a dear brother and friend recently released from prison. When the brother explained the experience that brought him to prison he made no excuse for his behavior and did not complain about living out the consequences of his behavior. He was quick to glorify God by describing how God’s Grace sustained him. He was also quick to point out the fact that his suffering in prison was not because he was being faithful to Christ. We bring suffering upon ourselves when we are not faithful and must live out the consequences of our sinful behavior. But when we suffer for Christ because we are faithful God is glorified in that good work.
You may have experienced a job loss because your boss wanted you to work according to sinful practices or unbiblical principles. Don’t be ashamed because God is glorified in your commitment to Him. Christians around the world are experiencing persecution and suffering for their faith in Christ. We need to stand with them in prayer (see Hebrews 10:34-35). But let’s suffer because we are faithful to Christ and let’s remain faithful to Christ as we suffer.