Hope in Suffering

For Meditation

Peter began his letter by reminding us that we are “grieved by all kinds of trials which test the genuineness of our faith (1:6-7)". Now as he moves toward the close of his letter he picks up this theme of suffering again. In a culture like ours that does everything it can to avoid suffering, Peter calls his friends to not be surprised by trials and suffering, but to expect them as a normal part of our experience as exiles. If anything, he says, our trials are an opportunity for our faith to be strengthened, our intimacy with God deepened, and our hope to be made all the more strong. 

For Reflection

1 Peter 4: 12-19

12Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. 17For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”

19So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.