Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Thursday after the Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on November 22, 2018 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: 1 Peter 4:12-19 (NKJV)
4:12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as 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 house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of 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.
People want a way out of all suffering. The Christian faith does not provide this. It teaches the proper way to suffer. First, we are to expect suffering in this life, especially suffering for Christ’s sake. Since many expect Christianity to alleviate suffering, their faith withers under the heat of tribulation. “Don’t think it strange,” Peter says, that you undergo trials and crosses. If God’s Only-Begotten Son suffered in the flesh, all who are sons of God through faith in Christ will suffer in the flesh as well.
Second, “rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings.” Why? Because when Christ returns in glory on the Last Day you will have exceeding joy. Why joy? Because by faith we are sons of God and “heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together” (Rom. 8:17). If you are reproached for your confession of the truth of the Gospel or the living hope God has given you (1 Pet. 1:3), “blessed are you.”
Third, Peter tells us how we are not to suffer. We are not to suffer as violators of God’s commandments.
Finally commit your body and soul to God in doing good. Have you been wronged? God will vindicate you. Do you suffer? God will remove your cross when it is most beneficial for you. Are you tempted? Consider God’s will for you. May God grant us such faith.
We pray: O God, so rule and govern our hearts and minds by Thy Holy Spirit that, being ever mindful of the end of all things and the day of Thy just judgment, we may be stirred up to holiness of living here and dwell with Thee forever hereafter; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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