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One of the very first passages I ever read in the Bible was 1 Peter 4. It set me on a path to line my life up with Christ and how He calls me to live. I had been through a lot of pain in my life. God knew that 1 Peter was exactly what I needed.
I began seeking God out more often. Navigating the challenges of faith in God while living in a cruel world was lonely for a while. Again, 1 Peter was there to encourage me. God kept me going. I went through many tests at the beginning of my faith journey. This taught me that the testing would never really be over. The pain, trials, and changes were already making me stronger.
While praying for balance in our lives, the idea of suffering isn’t something we’d like to include. Jesus teaches His followers that to rightly prioritize Him means that we will suffer, be insulted, and be tested for His sake. The balance comes when we stand firm in faith out of love for our Savior despite all this agony. We will find immense strength and blessings within our growing relationship with the Lord.
12 Dear 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. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. 17 For 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? 18 And,
“If it is hard for the righteous to be saved,
what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”[a]
19 So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.1 Peter 4:12-19 NIV
We belong to a God of promises and He is a promise keeper. Stand firm with Him and you will grow with every ache, pain, and trial you face in faith.
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