This chapter is probably not one that Christians like to read, but it is here for a reason, and I believe that it is very relevant. Especially this day in age. Let’s take a look through 1 Peter 4 and see what it has to say.
Most of this chapter is telling us that we are going to face issues as Christians, but it also gives us hope. Now let me make something very clear, not all suffering is because we are Christians. I have heard people say that they have to suffer because they are a Christian, because they did something and they need to deal with the consequences. If you did something wrong, the suffering is not because you were a Christian, if you are suffering because of your relationship with Jesus, then it is. Verses 15 and 16 show what I mean, “If you suffer, however, it must not be for murder, stealing, making trouble, or prying into other people’s affairs. 16 But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name!” If you are in prison for murdering someone, it is not because you love Jesus, it is because you murdered. Now this is an extreme situation, there are others that aren’t so cut and dry. Make sure you suffer for the right reasons, and not just because you did something wrong.
The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. 8 Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay. – Verses 7-9. This is important. Every day that goes by, we are one day closer to the end of the world. I personally think that we are getting close. Please just remember one thing, no one knows the exact time and day that Jesus will return, not even Jesus. So don’t go believing nutters who claim to know the time and day. Just live every day as if Jesus is coming tomorrow, but keeping in mind that He may not. We also need to remember that the spiritual gifts that we have, we only have for a time. There is no need for healing, prophesy, words of knowledge etc, when we get to heaven. We need to figure out what our gifts are, and get cracking using them. Verses 10 and 11 say, “God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 11 Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.” If you’re not sure what your gifts are, there is a spiritual gifts test on the blog which you can download and use.
There is a warning that our old friends won’t understand what we are up to when we become Christians. When we are born again, we should start to change. Maybe not quickly, but we should start to see changes in our lives. Our old friends who are not undergoing the same change, won’t understand this. We need to be aware of this. This is why it is important to get some born-again friends. We need to have this support. If all of our friends are non-believers, they won’t understand our decisions, and they will try and stop us. This is not because they intentionally do it, it is just because people who don’t have the Holy Spirit, couldn’t possibly understand the decisions that we make when following Him.
One last word of encouragement for you, verse 19.
So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you.
Keep the faith.