The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

10/18/2017

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Suffering And The Present


"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed" (1 Pet.4:12-13).

Peter directly addresses the suffering of his readers for Christ's sake in 1 Peter four (4) times, but none approach the vehemence of this section. (1 Pet.4:12-19). Peter asks a very interesting rhetorical question in 3:13 in which he implies that Christians were not likely to suffer for doing good....... It goes like this; "Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good?" However, they should not be surprised at suffering that was attendant to their embracing "the name." "If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you" (4:14). Faith will be tested by fire... The Lord had suffered and they (possibly we) may follow in His steps. It is important to know that in their suffering they had a cause for joy, because suffering testified to one's faith. At the revelation of Christ, faith would be their solace, and ours too. Even if turmoil may be in our "present," exultation will be our reward in the age to come... As we have seen in 4:14, it is a blessing to suffer for the name of Christ. The one who cares enough for his faith to endure the scorn and insults of those who despise the cross of Jesus and its implications, can wear his or her suffering as a badge of honor. Why? Because it testifies that God is with him, and that the Spirit of glory attends his way... Suffering is not a thing to be sought, but if it comes, we shouldn't be caught by surprise. Peter is echoing the words of Jesus who said this; "Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be My disciple" (Lk.14:27). Throughout his letter. Peter is concerned that none of his readers suffer for having actually done wrong, even though they or we may have... It is so tempting to retaliate and return evil for evil, but we must not. Lets all strive to be what the Lord wants us to be....

Have a great day.... Make your little part of the world better... Love mark Phil.4:11

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