Today you should read: 1 Peter 4:12-19
Margaret has been a Christian since she was 12 years old. She is at the church every time the doors are open. She has been married to her husband Bill for a couple of years, but they do not have children yet. This past year she has really been facing some difficulty in her life. She lost her job about two weeks ago and is worried about how she and her Bill are going to pay their bills on her his salary alone. Also, she feels like many of her friends at church have stopped talking to her and have turned their backs on her.
The story of Margaret is based on some true events of a couple of different people’s circumstances that I know of. At first glance, it seems like Margaret is going through a trial and if she read our passage today she may categorize herself as sharing in Christ’s suffering. However, if we look a little deeper we may discover a different story all together.
The first question to ask is “what happened at work?” Come to find out Margret had been spending a lot of time on Facebook, and she was not completing the tasks that she had been given by the required deadlines. Her boss had spoken to her about this several times and had been monitoring her computer. Margret had not listened and missed a deadline for a big job which ended up being the final straw.
Second, “Why is she worried about being able to live on her husband’s salary?” Because Margret and her husband have not been faithful to stewarding God’s money and have a lot of credit card debt. Without her income they will not be able to make ends meet.
Third, “Why have her friends stopped talking to her?” Margret has been known as a bit of a busy body and would partake in the occasional gossip. Turns out she had been spreading rumors about a couple of ladies in the women’s ministry and they got wind of it. Now she has found that many of the women are doing things together and not inviting her.
Margret’s story sounds a lot more like the warning that Peter gave in verse 15. Sometimes we experience consequences for our sin and we need to repent. When we face suffering we need to always ask ourselves if there is any sin of our own that we need to take responsibility for.
Yet, if we are able to answer no, then we need to take heart in times of trials because Christ shows himself through our suffering. The ESV Study Bible gives a great encouragement to all believers that I want us to remember today:
Note on 1 Peter 4:14: To be insulted because one belongs to Christ is to be blessed by God, because in such times the Spirit of glory, the Holy Spirit, rests upon believers in an especially powerful way. Further, it is the same Spirit that rested on Jesus (Isaiah 11:2, Matthew 3:16) who now rests upon the believer.
Posted by: Chad Wiles