12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; 13 but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. 14 If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; 16 but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and the sinner? 19 Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right. 1 Peter 4:12-19
Testing is a natural part of our journey with Christ. The trials and suffering we face in this life test the genuineness of our faith. It is one thing to claim to love Jesus and follow Him, it is whole different thing to truly endure and follow Jesus every step of the way. The trials we face test the human heart to see if it truly stands with the Lord alone. There are those who have compromised the gospel and have preached a health and wealth gospel, preaching that once you come to Jesus it is one easy day after another. But this does not align with God’s word.
In this life we may suffer for the name of Jesus, but there is coming a day when we shall share in His glory. This world is not our home and this life upon the earth is but a breath compared to eternity. Some day we shall rule and reign with Christ in His kingdom. As we suffer on this earth and experience trials of different kinds our eyes must always be focused upon Jesus Christ.
If we are reviled, if we are persecuted, if we are falsely accused for the name of Christ it is of the highest honor and blessing. To those who don’t know Christ or walk according to the flesh that would sound like foolishness. But for those who know Jesus and follow Him intimately, they understand the honor to suffer for the name of Jesus. There is great rewards in God’s kingdom for those who are willing to suffer for the name of Jesus.
We are not called to suffer as one who has broken the law or lived according to the sinful nature. We are called to live according to the Spirit and that means we may be called to suffer for the Lord and His name. If we are called to suffer we should take great honor in the opportunity to suffer for the name of Jesus. The Lord will strengthen us and sustain us through everything we will face upon the earth.
Each one of us who calls upon the name of Jesus and follows the Lord will stand before Him in judgement some day for our faithfulness as wise stewards of the gifts we were given during our time upon the earth. But for those who reject Christ and His kingdom, they will spend all eternity separated from God.
This Christian journey is not an easy one and it was designed that way. If it were easy we would rely on our own strength and in our pride would separate ourselves from the Lord. But the Lord has so designed our journey so that we will rely upon Him for every breath and every step. This journey is one of submission to the Lord and to His will. Jesus is not called simply to be Savior, He is called to be Savior and Lord. For Jesus to be Lord means we are willing to lay down our lives and our will and the will of God must become the driving force and priority in our lives.