Yet if any suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. 1 Peter 4:16
What does it mean to suffer for Christ and glorify God in the suffering? Does it involve the affliction of physical pain? Would emotional ridicule or scoffing constitute suffering? Perhaps these and other means of discomfort could be accredited to suffering but nothing could compare to the sufferings of Christ. If we experience suffering, it should not surprise us. Jesus said theses words. “If the world hates you, know it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you’re not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: Servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, the will also persecute you.” John 15:18-20 ESV Isn’t it interesting that the person who wrote the words of 1 Peter 4:16 is the same person that denied Jesus three times on the night before His crucifixion. Peter, a forgiven man, according to tradition, was crucified in Rome upside down, for he did not consider himself worthy to be crucified in the same manner as Christ. Peter, a changed man, was not ashamed to bear the name of Christ and tells all that may suffer for Christ not to be ashamed. In fact, he goes on to say, “Let him glorify God in that name.” Glorify God in suffering? How? We have examples in the New Testament showing how to glorified God in suffering. Peter and the other apostles were beaten and rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. And when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and d let them go. Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. Acts 5 40-41 ESV Paul and Silas are two more examples.
The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates tore the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with rods. And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely. Having received this order, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Acts 16: 22-25 ESV These are not exactly the response you might expect from those suffering, yet it brings glory to God. Satan wants to destroy the joy in the Christian life, but his efforts are frustrated when Christians rejoice, pray, and sing to God praises in times of suffering. The intention is to remove the focus from the suffering to the sweet blessing of serving the faithful God, Creator. So when you face difficulty in your Christian walk, focus upon God who is faithful and bring Him glory with prayer, rejoicing, and singing.
By His Grace~Pastor David