Suffering and Glory!
Scripture reading for December 17th: 1st Peter 1-5
Before ascending to heaven, John recorded Jesus restoring Peter after serving him a breakfast on the shores of Galilee. He asked Peter three times if he loved Him. Peter responded “yes, Lord” to make up for the three denials! Jesus then told him how he would suffer and die for God’s glory. (John 21:15-19)
Peter mentioned suffering numerous times in his letters. Although Peter told his readers that they were a chosen people and royal priesthood, he warned them that they will be treated unjustly because Christ was also treated unjustly. (1st Peter 2:9) “For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. In this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving an example that you should follow in His steps.” (1st Peter 2:19-21)
Christ’s attitude in His own unjust suffering should be ours. ” He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth.” “When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, he made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly.” (1st Peter 2:22-23) He was perfectly obedient to the Father.
Suffering for Christ is a part of life as a true Christian in this world. (1st Peter 4:1-2) Suffering has a purifying effect when we have the right attitude. When we focus on Christ, His purposes become clearer. We cease from sin and live more fully for our Lord. We should be ready to share the reason for our hope with others who note our joy and calm demeanor in the face of suffering. (1st Peter 3:15)
” Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as if something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of Glory and God rests on you.” Rejoice today in your trials and expect blessing and glory!