READ: 1 Peter 4:12-19 Appended
Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you.
—1 Peter 4:12
Does it surprise you that trouble is a part of life? Probably not. We all know
trouble close-up and personal—bad health, empty bank account, blighted love,
grief, loss of job, and the list goes on.
It shouldn’t surprise us, therefore, that God permits the added trials of
being ridiculed and hated because we follow Christ (1 Peter 4:12). But trouble,
whether it is common to man or unique to Christians, can reveal to us the moral
fiber of our soul.
I have never seen a golf course without hazards. They are part of the game.
Golfers speak of the courses with the most hazards as the most challenging, and
they will travel a long way to test their skill against the most demanding 18
Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “If I had a formula for bypassing trouble, I
wouldn’t pass it around. I wouldn’t be doing anyone a favor. Trouble creates a
capacity to handle it . . . . Meet it as a friend, for you’ll see a lot of it
and you had better be on speaking terms with it.”
Let’s not think it strange when trouble comes, for God is using it to test the
stamina of our souls. The best way to handle trouble is to commit our “souls to
Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator” (v.19). —Dennis De Haan
The troubles that we face each day
Reveal how much we need the Lord;
They test our faith and strength of will
And help us then to trust God’s Word. —D. De Haan
Great triumphs are born out of great troubles.
Suffering for Being a Christian 12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the
fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were
happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings
of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you
are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of
glory and of God rests on you. 15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer
or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16 However, if you
suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that
name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it
begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel
of God? 18 And,
“If it is hard for the righteous to be saved,
what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”[a]
19 So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves
to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.
1. 1 Peter 4:18 Prov. 11:31 (see Septuagint)