Mo 5/13Tu 5/14We 5/15Th 5/16Fr 5/17Sa 5/18Su 5/19
Isa. 11–12
James 5
Isa. 13
1 Pet. 1
Isa. 14
1 Pet. 2
Isa. 15
1 Pet. 3
Isa. 16
1 Pet. 4
Isa. 17–18
1 Pet. 5
Isa. 19–20
2 Pet. 1

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

Last week someone asked the pastors about why the New Testament puts such an emphasis on suffering in the life of those who follow Christ. The book of 1 Peter almost seems to have been written to answer this very question. It has a lot to say about suffering “as a Christian” (1 Pet. 4:16).

One significant purpose of Christian suffering shows up in Peter’s introduction in chapter 1. Trials prove our faith:

In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 1:6–7

The Apostle Peter compares our faith to gold, which is proved (i.e., shown to be true) when it is subjected to intense heat. In the same way, the authenticity of our faith in God’s promises is proved (to ourselves and to those around us) as we are subjected to the heat of life’s afflictions. It’s easy to say we believe God’s promises, but it’s another thing to cling to those promises even in the midst of difficult trials. Our attitude in suffering brings Christ much glory when we show that nothing in this world is worth comparing to the glory He has promised us when He returns.

It’s always tempting to put our faith in earthly prosperity, which is to say, in things we can see and touch and taste. This may take the form of believing a prosperity gospel that promises us earthly riches and healing if we just have enough faith, or it may take the form of embracing a brand of theology that tells us if we just obey God the right way, we will get to live a life of ongoing laughing and feasting.

Let us always remember that a Christian’s faith is in what we cannot see, and that the greatest blessing we can have in this life is assurance from God of the salvation of our souls:

Though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.

1 Peter 1:8–9

The Christian’s hope is in blessings that we are still waiting to fully receive (1 Peter 1:13). In the meantime, it’s often life’s afflictions that prove to us that we really do possess God’s promises of eternal blessings:

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

1 Peter 4:12–14

VERSE TO MEDITATE ON

Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
—1 Peter 1:13

HOW TO PRAY

  • Adoration – Praise Jesus Christ for His willingness to suffer for His people.
  • Confession – Confess to God times you have desired earthly blessings instead of heavenly blessings.
  • Thanksgiving – Thank God for His promise of an eternal inheritance.
  • Supplication – Ask God for perseverance to endure whatever trials you have in your life right now.

Click HERE to ask the pastors a question about anything in your Bible reading.

This post by Alex McNeilly

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. All rights reserved.

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