1 Peter 4:12-19
Focused Text: 1 Peter 4:19
In the current state of our world suffering remains inescapable. Yet God has great purpose in our suffering. Peter has already told us that suffering refines our faith (1:6-7), provides us with an opportunity to follow in Christ’s footsteps (2:21-23), and puts the authenticity of the gospel on display to our enemies (3:13-16).
Peter urges believers, in the context of suffering for their faith, to entrust their whole being to God (4:19). Regardless of what our emotions tell us we are never victims of fate. When we suffer we share Christ’s lot in this world, and have access to joy in the midst of trials as we look forward to the future glory we will share with him in heaven (4:13, cp. 1:3-9).
This mindset, however, is not our natural default. It must be developed through a process of renewal by God’s truth (Rom. 12:2).
Take some time to think or talk through the following questions with a view to applying the passage in your own life.
- Do I view suffering as both temporary and necessary? Or do I allow myself to become immediately overwhelmed and discouraged when suffering comes?
- What are some truths that I can cling to in the midst of suffering? (see 1 Pt. 1:3-9, 2:19-23, 4:12-19)
- What might be the benefit of memorizing passages that give an eternal perspective to my suffering?