1 Peter 4:15-18 1 minutes to read

1 Peter 4:15-18

But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And “If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”

All suffering is not to be considered honorable. If we suffer for doing evil or wrong it is to be seen as a judgment from God allowed as a corrective discipline. God knows that all sin creates distance in our relationship with himself. He knows that sin promises things it can never produce and its temptation is not designed to fulfill us but to leave us empty. Therefore, when we look to the world for satisfaction and purpose he allows natural consequences to bring suffering as a tool to bring us to repentance.

Don’t confuse this judgment as God being mad or an issue to keep his children from heaven. There is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). This is purely a disciplinary corrective measure to protect and provide for us coming from a loving heavenly father.

On the other hand, if God will discipline his children, what is the fate of those who reject God and chose to live independently of him? It will be much worse. The unrepentant sinner is lost on earth and will be separated forever from the loving creator who so wants us to seek forgiveness and reconciliation.

Reflection

Is my suffering from the world as a result of being obedient to Christ or from God as a disciplinary action to bring me to repentance.

Prayer

Father, although I don’t enjoy it, thank you for your discipline. It’s a reminder that you love me. I apologize for wounding you when I look away from you to seek approval or satisfaction from things of this broken world. May your disciple draw me closer to you and understand you better.