“My friends, do not be surprised at the terrible trouble which now comes to test you. Do not think that something strange is happening to you. But be happy that you are sharing in Christ’s sufferings so that you will be happy and full of joy when Christ comes again in glory. When people insult you because you follow Christ, you are blessed, because the glorious Spirit, the Spirit of God, is with you. Do not suffer for murder, theft, or any other crime, nor because you trouble other people. But if you suffer because you are a Christian, do not be ashamed. Praise God because you wear that name.” -1 Peter 4:12-16
It is not always easy to be a follower of Jesus and for those who are trying to be obedient to God. There are Christians in the Bible who were killed, hated, and put in prison for standing up for the Gospel. The apostle Paul is one person who suffered many troubles. He was abandoned by friends, whipped, stoned, shipwrecked, and was put in prison several times for standing up for his faith (2 Corinthians 11:23-30). We will go through tough times too. We may have to lose friends and family members, lose a job, or die for Christ.
It is hard to experience joy on our own, but God provides help for us from the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will guide us, give us strength, and comfort us. We should be joyful and feel blessed when we suffer for Jesus because Jesus also suffered. He suffered a painful death on the cross, He was spit on and ridiculed. He also defeated sin, so we do not have to suffer eternal punishment after we die. That is why we should not be ashamed to share with others what Jesus did, be scared to stand up for Him, and feel joyful when we are treated badly for the name of Jesus.
Prayer of the day:
Dear heavenly Father,
We are blessed when we go through tough times especially when we suffer for You. Give us strength to get through those times when it seems like the world is falling down all around us. We cannot have strength and wisdom on our own, that is why we need You. Help us to stand up for the Gospel so we can share the good news of Jesus to everyone we meet, even if we must suffer death, go to prison, or lose friends. Thank you for Your help. All of the glory, honor, and praise belong to You. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen!