“But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. (16) Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.” (1 Peter 4:15-16)
There are two kinds of suffering that we could be faced with.
Firstly, the sufferings that we bring upon ourselves: “But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.”
Secondly, we can suffer as a follower of Jesus Christ, “Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.”
As Christians who suffer for the Name of Christ, we bring glory to God. But are you ashamed when you are persecuted, ridiculed, or called a “Jesus freak”? Don’t be! Jesus Christ is our Hope. If we would just take a few moments to consider what Christ has done for us, then we would have a Pauline attitude.
(2 Corinthians 4:17-18) “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; (18) While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
Are we bringing glory to God in our suffering? The honor of God is upon all those who suffer for the Name of Christ. (See Acts 5:17-41; 2 Thessalonians 1:3-5.) When our faith is tried in the fire (fiery trials) and manifold temptations, will it be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ?
As a soldier of Jesus Christ, we have to endure hardships. We are the salt of the earth, a city that is set on a hill, and the light of the world. It is through those who are the Saints of the most-high God that this world has any hope. But if we lose our savour or let our light go out because of our sufferings, who will give an answer of the hope that is in them to everyone that asks? (I Peter 3:15-16) Not all men will ask of the hope that lives in the Child of God. The Child of God who stands for truth, and obeys truth, will be persecuted by wicked men.
“But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;” (1 Peter 3:14)
If God be for us, who (or what) can be against us? What do we esteem higher, the riches of this world, the prestige of this world, the acceptance of this world – or the reproaches of Christ and all that He has stored up for us in heaven?
Moses, a Hebrew, was raised in the house of Pharaoh. We can say that Moses had it made. But when he came to years, he refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; he understood that this was not his place in the world, but that he was one of the People of God. And upon this revelation he chose “rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward” (Hebrews 11:24-26).
I am convinced that suffering for Christ has a far better reward than anything this world has to offer. What do you think?