Today we continue through our sermon series “Exiles” as we look at 1 Peter, chapter 4. Peter writes this letter to his fellow believers who have been dispersed throughout Asia Minor and are now coming under increased persecution and trial.
I often speak to people who have somehow come under the impression that the Christian life is supposed to be easy. We tend to think that since we are on "God's side" everything should work out the way we want it to. When trials come or worse, persecution, we are surprised and find it difficult to reconcile how God would allow such things to happen to His people.
In chapter 4, Peter reminds us that we should not be surprised when these trials come to test our faith, as though something strange were happening to us. In fact, when we find ourselves facing opposition because of what we believe or insulted for the name of Christ, "we are blessed because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon us” … Let’s be honest, we aren’t going to come to that conclusion without the Holy Spirit! As strange as it might sound… don’t you want to sign up for that?
1 Peter 4:12-16 "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. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name."