Suffering as a Christian
12 Beloved, Peter starts with a very common title for his audience. They are believers and beloved. They are loved by Petre, but more assuredly they are loved by Christ.
do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.
We have heard of Nero on the wickedness he wrought on Christ’s church. I do wonder what stories we don’t know of?Peter knew what it was to suffer. Albeit his suffering was emotional and internal he was aware. The Holy Spirit was also preparing Peter’s audience near and in the future for the opportunity to sealing their testimony in their own blood.Our struggles and persecutions shouldn’t seem like one-offs to us.
13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. Christ suffered. We will as well. This should be comforting to us and we shouldn’t see it as anything else.
14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory[b] and of God rests upon you. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. If you’re going to suffer it better be for the right reasons and under the right circumstances.
16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. Being associated with Christ is a blessing and suffering for Him is as well. The name “Christian” started out as a slur to the new follwers. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? Something to keep in mind. We will be held accountable for what we say and do. However in Christ our punishment has been met. What about those who are not in Christ? 18 And
“If the righteous is scarcely saved,
what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”[c] An even more sobering thought. What will be the end of the person who rejects Christ’s offer?
19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. Here he flips it back to his opening that suffering for Christ is the right thing to do. Not only the right thing, but the expected outcome for a Christ follower.
Call to action: Look at your current situation in light of eternity. Are you looking at the bigger picture of being made more like Christ or are you focusing in on this temporal time and space?