READING: Ezekiel 30-32, 1 Peter 4
“So those who suffer according to God’s will should, while doing what is good, entrust themselves to a faithful Creator.”
1 Peter 4:19
I’m trying to remember how many times I’ve been insulted for being a Christian. To be honest, I can’t recall many times. I remember times when folks did not want to talk about “religious stuff,” but even that hasn’t happened often. Overall, my life for Christ has been really safe. What I don’t know is how long that will be the case. The more that global opposition to Christianity arises, the more likely it is that we in North America will face that opposition, too.
Peter’s writing to the believers of his day will, I trust, be helpful to me if/when that day comes. He, in fact, told his readers that they shouldn’t be surprised by the “fiery ordeals” they would face (1 Pet. 4:12); rather, they were to rejoice in their sufferings, knowing they would eventually “rejoice with great joy” in the end (1 Pet. 4:13). In the meantime, they weren’t to worry about being insulted or ridiculed, either, “because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you” (1 Pet. 4:15). God not only does not leave us alone in our conflicts, but He instead empowers us mightily with His supernatural presence when we most need it.
Here’s my question today, though: do I so clearly and publicly live for Jesus that somebody might want to ridicule me “for the name of Christ” (1 Pet. 4:14)? I am not arguing that I should be so obnoxious and aggressive in my faith that I unnecessarily offend others, of course. Sometimes we invite ridicule because the way we carry ourselves is, in fact, ridiculous. What I am wondering about, however, is whether I am such light in the darkness that the darkness is at times offended. Darkness that remains undisturbed when believers are around says more about the believers than it does about the darkness.
- Live as a Christian today in such a way that you “glorify God in having that name” (1 Pet. 4:16).
- If someone insults you today for being a believer, let the Spirit of God guide you to the proper response.
PRAYER: “God, I want Your Spirit to lead me fully today, regardless of what I face.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Ezekiel 33-34, 1 Peter 5