Hope for Hard Times
Misjudging Hard Times
1 Peter 4:12-19
And as He (Jesus) passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind?”(John 9:1)
The great perplexity of cause and effect especially as it relates to God’s people and suffering--The “strange” happenings of suffering and the deep insight of the Apostle Peter (see also Paul, James).
Consider 4 possibilities in suffering for being a Christian…
1. Do not be surprised, God uses painful ordeals to test the authenticity of your faith (12, NASB).
“…which comes upon you for your testing…”
The deep end of Christianity is God’s purposed destiny for you.
2. Rejoice and plan to be overjoyed if your hard time is because you choose to be righteous—you and Jesus are in the same league (13).
Sharing in his righteousness would mean fellowshipping in his sufferings which would guarantee sharing in His resurrection and the revelation of His glory! (Phil.3:9-10)
3. If you are insulted for identifying with the name of Christ, you are blessed. (14; cf. Matt.5:11-12).
It is evidence that you are in union with Jesus.
Suffering for conscientious compliance with biblical teaching, shunning identity politicking in favour of our identity in Christ is not shameful—it is assurance that the Spirit of God rests in you.
4. If you are a Christian, God’s love includes ridding you of the sin he hates because His judgment begins with His own house (15-18; Heb. 12:7)!
This is for your own good now and to get you fit for His presence—so praise God!
This is a very bad sign for those who live in rebellion to Christ.
What to do?
- Entrust your soul to your faithful Creator
- Keep doing what is right