Lesson Scriptures: 1 Peter 4:1-2,12-19
Key Lesson Theme: “The Joy Arising from Our Hope”
Today's Lesson: Wednesday, July 1
1 Peter 4:12-14
12 Dear friends, don’t be surprised when the fiery ordeal comes among you to test you as if something unusual were happening to you.
13 Instead, rejoice as you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may also rejoice with great joy when his glory is revealed.
14 If you are ridiculed for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.
No matter the distance that separated them or how little they knew each other personally, as believers they were bound together in love, a love that came from God.
Suffering was to be recognized as the norm, not the exception. Jesus Himself said that those who hated Him would hate those who follow Him (John 15:18-20). Life in Christ is more than a life filled with coincidences. Even suffering can serve God’s purpose and fit into His plan. Believers may be surprised when suffering comes, but the Lord is never surprised by life events and is fully able to shape them for His purposes or to accomplish His will.
Peter was not suggesting that believers look for opportunities to suffer as if suffering were some kind of spiritual merit badge. Nevertheless, when suffering did come, the believers were to rejoice. The suffering of Christians for righteousness’ sake or because of their allegiance to Christ is a way of sharing with Christ who also suffered for righteousness’ sake. Of course, His suffering achieved our salvation; ours does not. Nevertheless, we are able to rejoice in our pain because we are in fellowship with Him, enduring with Him, and growing in our relationship with Him.
When the insults come, rather than being weighed down by them, believers could take delight in knowing that the splendid presence and power of the Lord rests upon them through His Spirit to refresh them and affirm that they are in His favor.
What are some lasting truths from 1 Peter 4:12-14?
>Christians can expect trials will come to test the character of their faith.
>Christians are able to rejoice in the midst of their suffering because they are in fellowship with Christ who Himself suffered on their behalf.
>Those who stand strong in the face of reproach are happy and blessed in the Lord.
>The Lord blesses those who stand for Him with the power of His glory and the refreshing presence of His Spirit.
Until tomorrow Saints...
Every day is Sunday