Text: 1 Peter 4:12-19
Theme: Through suffering we can become partners with Jesus.
Key verses: “Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad–for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world. If you are insulted because you bear the name of Christ, you will be blessed, for the glorious Spirit of God rests upon you” (v. 12-14). “But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name!” (V. 16). “So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you” (v. 19).
What God said to me: Son, look closely at these verses. Don’t overlook what I have for you to learn today. More suffering is in your future. It is important you develop a clear and accurate theology and understanding of trials and suffering for my name’s sake. Peter said you are partners with Christ when you go through fiery trials. But why? Obviously you partner with my Son in that he suffered too and you suffer because of him. But he says it’s also so you can see his glory when it’s revealed to the world. Imagine the privilege to “see his glory.” Peter was trying to lift the eyes and hearts of those First Century saints to think beyond their present trials to what lies ahead for them. He reminded them of the great privilege they had of bearing Jesus’ name and being called to suffer for him. Through their suffering they glorified their Savior and Lord. Of course, suffering requires faithfulness to Christ. Suffering because of sin does not qualify because it did not bring glory and honor to me. Peter also said to keep on doing what is right and trust me–for I will never fail you. You can take that to the bank, Dwayne. Keep your eyes on the prize and never quit.
What I said to God: Thank You, precious Lord, for speaking to me this morning. I am grateful for Your love and mercy, for dying on the cross and coming back to life so I can have eternal life. Thank You for calling me into Your ministry and allowing me to glorify You. Please help me remain faithful in the good times and in the bad. I have experienced some physical suffering these past four month due to my sciatic pain. However, I know it is nothing compared to what so many have suffered at the hands of their persecutors. And Your Son suffered the greatest of all, both physically and emotionally, when You died for the sins of the world. Praise Your name for the privilege of being a Christian!