“12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And “If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”
19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.” 1 Peter 4:12-19 ESV
Dear Heavenly Father – Thank you for continuing to show us your will and your way! You are faithful. Please bless anyone who reads this – open their ears to hear and eyes to see and their understanding so they may obey you. – Amen
Yesterday we discussed trial – guess what we are studying today?! Yes! More about trials because I need more joy in my life. (That was supposed to be humor. I hope you laughed. Because remember yesterday we are to consider it a joyful thing to go through trials and I shared how I am going through one. – ok, so I am not really very funny – it ok because I am who God says I am.)
Trials – I like to call them a seemingly endless bombardment of attacks designed to make me AWESOME! (Like we learned yesterday, God designs them to transform us.
I have heard people say, “What is going on lately?!” Or, “When will it all end?!” Or, “Why? Why? Why?” These are all signs that there may be a trial happening. It is human nature to NOT want to think about our loving and merciful God permitting things we think are bad. Notice how I worded that “we think are bad”. Because actually the trial is good. And it works out for God’s glory and our blessings. But because it is our nature – Peter writes (and I paraphrase): Why are you surprised?!
“But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.” Verse 13
So we should look at our trials as sharing in Christ suffering – I am sure my work situation (although it is exhausting and wears me down) is nowhere near as bad as Christ’s suffering. I’d be ashamed to make the comparison. But the infallible word of God does make the comparison and here is why – There was a purpose to Christ’s suffering which was that God’s glory would be revealed. And the connection is that the purpose of my trial (any of my other trials) your trial or trials is for God’s glory to be reveal!!!
“If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.” Verse 14
The King James Version says: “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.”
And oddly enough I think the KJV is easier to understand here. So, when I am teased, called names, and people try to manipulate the situation behind my back to sabotage me because I speak about Jesus, then I have the confidence that the glory of the Lord is upon me! The King James clarifies that they are speaking evil of Christ (not of us) and through us He is glorified. I want Jesus to be glorified in my life – and this is accomplished through trials.
“But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler.” Verse 15
I had to read the Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers to gain insight into what this one means. Using my own words, the way I understand it, is if you are an evildoer and you are persecuted for it – to not say it is a trial from God. A trial from God determines your worth. Consequences of evil are just consequences and hopeful a bit of disciple to set you back on course. A trial is not disciple or judgment, it is a loving act to put the spirit of glory on you.
“Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.” Verse 16
This verse hits me right in the feels. Remember yesterday, when I shared it was pride that God was working out of me??? Well, I was quite embarrassed to be going through my struggle: first of all it is a small irritant compared to other trials that God could have used. This is just like a cheese grater on the skin, superficial. I was ashamed that I struggled so with it as well. I was ashamed that I even had to be proven. I was ashamed because I was proud. I hardly even talked about it on this blog – yet every day there is some new distraction or irritant or lie or divisive behavior or other oppression happening to me at work and I was too proud to share my struggle. Proud, like maybe, it should have taken more to rattle me.
The people who profess Christ all over this world are experiencing a shaking. Time to separate the wheat from the tares. Time to see who can stand firm. We are all going through different trials designed lovingly by God for our good. Each of us differently and each will be shaken. So let us NOT forget yesterday’s lesson on standing fast!
“For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” Verse 17
Judgement?! Eek! Again referring to different commentaries to understand because more of the information of Trials are: Rejoice! Joy! And that these trials are designed by God to get rid of our character flaws, draw us closer to Him, and for His glory. And there is verse 15 about not confusing judgement for trials. So the flow of this verse confused me. And I didn’t find any commentaries helpful. To the Strong’s Greek Lexicon!
κρίμα (krima) – From Krino meaning a decision. God is testing us for our value to make a decision regarding us. Will we pass the test? Again shaking us to separate the wheat from the tares. The wheat is used and the tares are burnt up. I guess I can see where the word judgment in our traditional way of thinking kind of fits. The trail/test isn’t the judgment of God, but he will judge if we pass or fail – and the consequences shall be appropriate, I am sure.
“And “If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” Verse 18
So, if he puts us through trials – what becomes of the ungodly? I know. I have been there. Evil destroys much more rapidly when you are also evil and submerged in an evil world. Thank you Lord Jesus for taking me back!!
And now – we have the assurance that God loves us and tries us in love to perfect us. To pass the test – although all of us have different tests, we all must respond with joy, we must cling to God, we must shed everything we were dependent on and become solely God-dependent.
“Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.” Verse 19
I trust my soul to a faithful Creator while doing good. It is amazing to have a relationship with God – but the relationship is about fully trusting Him – the Creator. He made everything, can’t He also handle your life? These trials are like a giant team building game – the blind trust fall. Can’t we trust Him fully? So declare it out loud: I trust my soul to a faithful Creator! Again, and this time sound like you mean it – say it with conviction: I trust my soul to a faithful Creator!
If you don’t already, and today you would like to, have a relationship with a God who can communicate with you and be part of your life (and protect you) – one who is full of mighty power and tender love, then please know that I have put the “A, B, C’s of Salvation” in my introduction. Please click here to follow the link.**
Thank you for reading ~ Grace be with you
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Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!