The truth is, Christians do suffer in many different ways. Some of us suffer because of persecution and seeing family and friends killed because of their faith, which is so terrible. Though they cannot still our joy. People do suffer with loved ones dying before their time, because of financial issues, continued sickness, and more. This can weigh upon our faith and cause some people to doubt it. In saying this, Peter wrote the following, “beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.” (1 Peter 4:12-15) We all face trials and tribulations, but in prayer, we are given strength. However, there is a warning to not be like the world and be troubled because of sin and transgression against God. If this is happening, we are to confess our sins and get right with the Lord immediately.
Peter also said, “yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.” (1 Peter 4:16-19) When we are suffering, it is not the time to be ashamed in what we believe in. Instead, give glory for the suffering, for Christ also suffered while on the cross for our sins. We can’t lose hope in these difficult trials, for when we die, judgment will happen with the believers first. And those people who only believed but never obeyed God and His teachings, they are unsaved. The scariest part about what Peter said is that the righteous are scarcely saved. What does this mean? You might ask. And what the Holy Spirit is telling me now, is that these people trusted in their own goodness, instead of transferring their trust upon Jesus, our Savior. Therefore, we need to do as Peter said and commit our lives to follow Jesus. Then His good works will flow in our lives.
Let us pray:
Oh Lord, I pray that You will give me the strength to overcome the trials and tribulations in this life. I have experienced persecution while witnessing on the streets. I still remember the day when a man came up to me and Zechariah and told us he was going to kill us if we continued preaching. It was at this moment that I prayed and his friend came between us and him. He stopped him from pulling a gun and going forth with his wicked plans. He was outraged in his drunkenness, but still, You heard my cries and gave me peace. We knew we had to leave and left as fast as we could. Lord, that day seems like yesterday, although it has been a few years now. Since that time, I have suffered from nose and throat issues, where I am constantly feeling congested and needing to clear my throat. This is very painful at times, where I often have a hard dealing with it. Only You have comforted me while I am sick. Drugs have not helped, but only Your love and peace. These many years, I have gone through financial issues that almost ruined my family, but You stepped in and made everything better. I have seen my mom, my dad, and others pass away, which has broken my heart. Lord, I know that this life is hard, but in the next, it is worth it. Therefore, I am not ashamed of the faith I have in You. I will love You until the end. Amen.