08 Our Joy in Christian Suffering 1 Pet 4:12-19 – Study NotesFireproof Faith
As you stand for Jesus Christ, do not be surprised when you face fiery trials. The irony is that, by changing the way you think about suffering for him, you can actually find incredible joy and rich blessing through it. After all, in righteous suffering you are imitating Christ. You are wearing his name. And one day you will celebrate forever when his glory is revealed!
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4:12 Christian Suffering: Be Prepared for It
12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.
1 Pet 1:6-7 Faith, gold, fire. Dan 3 – Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego.
Scripture often promises God’s protection & deliverance. Pss 3, 91 (read).
Scripture often guarantees our suffering & mistreatment from the world.
John 15:18-16:4 Jesus: “They will hate, persecute, and kill.”
2 Tim 3:12 All who desire to live godly … will be persecuted.
Heb 11:32-40 God always delivers, either from death or through death.
John the Baptist (Mk 6). James the Apostle (Ac 12). Peter (also Ac 12).
“The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.” Tertullian, AD 197.
Why would we be surprised, or think it strange, to suffer for Christ?
4:13 Christian Suffering: Be Joyful in It
13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.
Matt 5:10-12 Blessed are you when … Rejoice and be glad …
Luke 6:26 Woe to you when …
Ac 5:41-42 They went on their way, rejoicing that …
Jas 1:2-12 Count it all joy … Why?
Rom 5:1-11 We also exult in tribulations … Again, why?
Col 1:24-29 Paul rejoiced in suffering for the church, his body. (Read)
Ro 8:17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
4:14 Christian Suffering: Be Blessed in It
14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.
Again – Matt 5:10-12 Blessed are you when … Rejoice and be glad …
Confirmation that the Holy Spirit is in, on, and over you.
The Comforter, Counselor, Helper, Advocate, (Gk.) Paraclete.
Greater than relief from suffering is the reaffirmation of salvation.
The Spirit does not immunize you from it but blesses you through it!
2 Cor 12:9-10 I am well content with weaknesses, with insults …
4:15 Christian Suffering: Be Certain in It
15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler.
Be sure that you did nothing wrong and so deserve this suffering.
Meddler = busybody. One who busies himself in the affairs of others in an unwarranted manner (Louw-Nida). 1 Th 4:11; 5:13; 2 Th 3:11.
Prov 26:17 Like one who takes a dog by the ears … Don’t do it!
ἀλλοτριεπίσκοπος – “belonging to another” + episkopos “overseer.”
Agitator. Disrupter. Troublemaker.
One who spies out the affairs of other men (Robertson).
a. “one who has his eye on the possessions of others”; b. “an unfaithful guardian of goods committed to him”; c. “one who meddles in things that do not concern him,” and d. “a calumniator or informer” (TDNT).
4:16 Christian Suffering: Be Courageous in It
16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.
Christian – a “Christ-one.” Acts 11:26; 26:28; 1 Pet 4:16.
Polycarp, church leader in Smyrna, burned alive, stabbed ca. AD 155.
“I am a Christian. And if you wish to learn more about Christianity …” Furious, the Roman proconsul said, “Don’t you know I have wild beasts waiting? I’ll throw you to them unless you repent.” …
Then he threatened to burn him alive. Polycarp replied, “You threaten me with fire which burns for a little while and is soon extinguished. You do not know the coming fire of judgment and eternal punishment reserved for the ungodly. What are you waiting for? Do what you wish.”
4:17-18 Christian Suffering: Be Chastened by It
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? 18 And “If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”
Right now, through trials, saved people are being judged. Will we pass?
This present judgment purifies, refines, and disciplines. 1 Pet 1:6-7
We accept it, endure it, and mature through it.
But the disobedient, the ungodly, and the (lost) sinner, not facing that productive chastening now, will face God’s condemning judgment at last.
“Scarcely” – better, “with difficulty.” Through hardship, not easily.
Not that it’s hard for God to save or that we are barely saved! Rather, we enter the kingdom “through many tribulations” (Acts 14:22).
4:19 Christian Suffering: Be Faithful in It
19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.
The choice we always have – how to respond to unjust treatment.
- Suffer in the way that God would want, that pleases him.
God does not arbitrarily choose to make us suffer. Rather, we experience suffering, going through it as God would want, “according to God’s will.”
- Entrust your soul to your faithful Creator.
When Jesus suffered, he “kept entrusting himself to him …” (1 Pe 2:23).
- Keep doing good. Never give up!
4:19 summarizes the entire teaching of 1 Peter. Memorize it! Live it!
Written by Cory Collins
Cory Collins is a Bible teacher and a minister of the gospel. He serves with Keller church of Christ in Keller, Texas. He and his wife, Tanya, have been married since 1977. They have two children and one grandchild.