Suffering as a Christian, 1 Pet 4:12-19

Peter deals with Christian suffering in 1 Pet 4:12-19.  We’ll study, from this passage, the reasons for suffering and our responses to suffering.

Reasons for suffering.  You’ll suffer:

The fiery trial – 1 Pet 4:12-13 – this fiery trial could be literal like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Dan 3:6-30.  It could be like the fire endured by the faithful in Heb 11:34.  Martyrs in the church age have been burned at the stake.  When we endure these trials, we are partakers of Christ’s sufferings.  Sometimes, the trial is from the Lord, Prov 17:3 “the Lord trieth the hearts.”  Sometimes we might encounter “the fiery darts of the wicked,” Eph 6:16.

Reproach for the name of Christ – 1 Pet 4:14 – according to Jn 15:18-21, if you stand for Jesus’ name you will bear reproach for his name.

As a Christian – 1 Pet 4:16-18 – judgment begins at the house of God.  Therefore, we are subject to the Lord’s chastisement [Heb 12:5-11].

According to the will of God – 1 Pet 4:19 – in 1 Pet 4:2, we are not to live the rest of our time to the lusts of the flesh but to the will of God.  Thus, we mortify the deeds of the flesh [Col 3:5; Rom 6:6-14; Rom 8:13].

But don’t suffer as an evildoer – 1 Pet 4:15; evildoers suffer the vengeance of God, 1 Pet 4:17-18.  See 2 Thes 1:7-9.

Responses to suffering.  When you suffer:

Think it not strange – 1 Pet 4:12 – it’s not strange.  What’s strange is not suffering [2 Tim 3:12].

Rejoice – 1 Pet 4:13 – we are to be glad with exceeding joy [Matt 5:10-12; Lk 6:22-23, 26]. We’ll really rejoice at his glory.

Be happy – 1 Pet 4:14 – in 2 Cor 12:9-10, Paul said I take pleasure in reproaches and in persecutions.  See how the apostles were happy to suffer shame for his name in Acts 5:41-42.

Don’t be ashamed – 1 Pet 4:16 – Paul told Timothy not to be ashamed 2 Tim 1:8.  Paul was not ashamed in 2 Tim 1:12.

Glorify God – 1 Pet 4:16 – with 1 Pet 4:14.  Suffering is a manifest token of of the righteous judgment of God [2 Thes 1:4-5].  The sufferings of this present time are not to be compared with the glory that shall follow [Rom 8:17-18].

Continue in well doing – 1 Pet 4:19 – be not weary in well doing… we reap if we faint not [Gal 6:9].  If you faint in the day of adversity your strength is small [Prov 24:10].  Our strength is in the Lord.  He’s the one keeping your soul [2 Tim 1:12].