1 Peter 4:12-19
12 Dear friends, don’t be surprised by the painful suffering you are going through. Don’t feel as if something strange were happening to you. 13 Be joyful that you are taking part in Christ’s sufferings. Then you will be filled with joy when Christ returns in glory. 14 Suppose people make fun of you because you believe in Christ. Then you are blessed, because God’s Spirit rests on you. He is the Spirit of glory. 15 Suppose you suffer. Then it shouldn’t be because you are a murderer or a thief. It shouldn’t be because you do evil things. It shouldn’t be because you poke your nose into other people’s business. 16 But suppose you suffer for being a Christian. Then don’t be ashamed. Instead, praise God because you are known by that name. 17 It is time for people to be judged. It will begin with the family of God. And since it begins with us, what will happen to people who don’t obey God’s good news? 18 Scripture says, “Suppose it is hard for godly people to be saved. Then what will happen to ungodly people and sinners?” (Proverbs 11:31) 19 Some people will suffer because God has planned it that way. They should commit themselves to their faithful Creator. And they should continue to do good.
In the Message Translation it says:
“12 Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. 13 Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.”
God’s been speaking to me about jumping to conclusions – or speculating – of late. It’s such an easy thing to do when things are tough. My mind races in a vain attempt to trouble shoot the difficulties and to find a way out. The Bible is reminding me here that I am to expect difficulties and to trust that God is on the job refining me. I am not to jump to the conclusion [speculate] that He took a lunch break just when I needed Him!
Oh God – I am not so good at this – but I want to allow You to transform me – to refine me. Help me seek You – not comfort. Help me trust You know what you are doing – even when I have no idea. I choose to trust that You are at work in me, You are present with me and that you will help me through.
Written by Ps. Linda Quinn