Our scripture this morning is 1 Peter 4:12-19.
“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. If you suffer, however, it must not be for murder, stealing, making trouble, or prying into other people’s affairs. But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name! For the time has come for judgment, and it must begin with God’s household. And if judgment begins with us, what terrible fate awaits those who have never obeyed God’s Good News? And also, “If the righteous are barely saved, what will happen to godless sinners?” 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.”
Peter encourages us to stand firm in the face of adversity, not allowing the ways of the world to affect our faith. He reminds us that Jesus suffered on our behalf, and if we suffer for His name, we are blessed. Christ calls us to continue His ministry no matter what the cost.
Our world is a dangerous place to be a Christian. While we may not risk injury or death as many have for their faith, we face temptation and unbelief every day. Evil only needs a small opportunity to distract us from our holy task to share God’s love.
When we are distracted by issues that inflame our passions, we can act with the wrong motives. Are we arguing to prove someone wrong or to show Christ’s love? We must consider how He would respond and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us, rather than our often out of control emotions.
Heavenly Father, we ask Your blessing on all Your children, not just those with whom we agree. Make us the bearers of Your love and truth in all situations. Amen.