The Word for today is from 1 Peter 4:12. The Bible reads: “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you.”
It is my view that 1 Peter 4:12-19 is the key passage in this book. Peter was writing to Christians suffering for their faith. I want to point out from this verse that Peter reminds these suffering saints that they shouldn’t be surprised at their suffering nor should they think it as something strange, or out of the normal course of their new life in Christ. Peter adds a positive result from suffering as he informs these saints that its purpose is for the testing of their faith. In other words, their faith was strengthened through suffering.
Here’s the principle: suffering for our faith should be expected for the follower of Christ.
We will look a little deeper at this principle this week. But for today, let’s be aware that suffering is normal for a Christian living in a fallen and broken world. One of the false messages popular among false teachers is the phrase “suffering is not your portion”. The Bible teaches differently. In Philippians 1;29 we read” For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him but also to suffer for His sake”. Did you notice the phrase “it has been granted”? Suffering can be a result of sin, but not always. Suffering for our faith as we faithfully walk with God is normal in this fallen and broken world.
How many of us would volunteer to suffer? Probably few if any of us. But as Christians, we actually volunteered to suffer for the sake of Christ if need be when He caused us to be born again. Both believers in Christ and unbelievers suffer because of this sin-soaked world – the difference is a Christian will suffer as a result of living for Christ in a world that is an enemy of Christ. More on this in the next few days – but for now let’s remember that for a faithful follower of Christ – suffering is our portion!