Suffering is God’s will for his people

But, before He went to Heaven to be seated at the Right Hand of God, he suffered. Remember His attitude and arm yourself with the same one:

  • no retaliation
  • no threats
  • entrusting Himself to God
  • living for the will of the Father and not for evil human desire

The time for living for evil human desire is long gone- no debaucheries, no lust or drunkenness, no orgies carousing or idolatry. Those of the world will not understand why you do not want to participate with them and they will heap abuse on you, making you look and feel stupid. But, they will face the same Judge as you. And, like you, they will account for their behavior and this is why we preach to all, why we must preach to all. Better they (and we!!) face judgment now. Better they (and we!!) live according to the Spirit now! This frees them (and us!!) from a future judgment that will bring only death.

The end is coming:

  • be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray
  • love each other deeply because love covers much sin
  • be hospitable without sinning
  • use your gifts to serve others and as a means to give away God’s grace
  • when you speak, speak as though you are speaking for God
  • when you serve, serve in God’s strength so that he is praised

Don’t be surprised by the trial you’re in the midst of as though you are immune. Expect trials. In fact, rejoice that you get to join in the sufferings of Jesus so that you’ll be overjoyed when Christ’s glory is revealed! When you are insulted because of Christ’s name, you are blessed because this means God’s spirit is in, and on, you. If you suffer, don’t suffer for doing wrong. Instead, suffer for being a faithful Christian so you have nothing to be ashamed of.

Judgment begins with God’s family; what will it be like for those who are not his? For those who are not obedient to the Spirit of God? It is written:

If it is difficult for the righteous to find salvation, how much more for the sinner?

So, those who suffer for God, do so according to God’s will and they should commit themselves to God and living for doing good.

1 Peter 4- paraphrased from NIV 1984

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