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The Scriptorium

Suffer, and Do Good

1 Peter 4.16-19

16 Yet if anyone suffersas a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter. 17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it beginswith us, what will bethe end for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 Now
“If the righteous one is scarcely saved,
Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?”

19 Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.

The Story: Persecution and suffering are not grounds for going underground, as it were. We have been redeemed for good works (Eph. 2.10); not even suffering must be allowed to deter us from this course of life. If, when suffering of any kind begins, we can glorify God, rejoicing in Him and giving thanks, then we can keep from feeling sorry for ourselves or becoming afraid. God may be using this suffering as a trial to bring us to greater heights of righteousness (Heb. 12.7-11). So let us persevere in doing good, as Jesus did, even though doing so may only bring more persecution upon us, if only in the form of insults.

The Structure: Peter’s overall message to these suffering Christians is abundantly clear: Do not allow suffering to confuse, dismay, or defeat you. Press on! Let the Spirit live through you, unto the glory of God! See your persecutions as works of God to strengthen your faith and advance His Kingdom through you! Trust in Him and persevere, come what may.

What can keep us from having this kind of attitude toward suffering?

Each week’s studies in our
Scriptorium column are available in a free PDF form, suitable for personal or group use. For this week’s study, “Endure Hardship: 1 Peter 4,” simply click here.

T. M. Moore

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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