Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Our reading from 1 Peter 4 and 5 this week brings a much-needed corrective into modern Christianity. There are many who would suggest that the Christian, the true Christian, will not endure suffering. This is an attactive message. We would like to live a godly life which is victorious in every sense of the word. We expect eternal life and a resurrection. This is certainly true. But we also seem to expect that we will not endure the kind of suffering that Jesus did.
Peter points out to us that when we are suffering we are put in a position to understand Jesus. When we suffer we are reminded of our dependence on God. When we suffer we are reminded of the nature of our enemy, Satan, who would seek every opportunity to harm us.
Are we going to suffer in this life? Certainly. It is by God’s grace that we have times which are not filled with suffering. What is our response then? We look to the Lord, the author of our salvation, who has endured every trial and temptation that we ever will. Jesus alone has gone through suffering without sin. He alone is able to sustain us through all the trials of this life. And this is his great promise. So we don’t despair when life hurts. We look to God in hope.
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