When We Suffer and Have Problems

“If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.  If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler.  However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.  For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?”  1 Peter 4:14-17

Have you ever heard someone say (or have you believed it yourself):  “If you are a Christian, you will never have any problems or tragedy in your life”?  This is another one of Satan’s lies that he uses to deceive Christians, especially new converts, to cause us to doubt God’s grace and our own salvation.  God makes it very clear in 1 Peter that we will have trials and pain just because we live in a sinful world, many of which we bring on ourselves because of our sinful nature. 

However, God counts it to our benefit if we suffer for the cause of Christ.  He says “we are blessed”.  In the Beatitudes, Jesus tells us “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.  Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:11-12

 Knowing and believing this, we should take hope in any situation in our life that causes pain and suffering because we are doing what God has told us to do.  On the other hand, we need to be very careful that we do not blame God for suffering we have caused ourselves.  That is another way Satan tries to deceive us.  We need to confess our sin and ask God for forgiveness.  He is always faithful.