My primary concern as I begin this brief series of articles on suffering is this: how do I communicate the biblical perspective on suffering to a people, myself included, who live in such a safe environment? Continue reading . . .
My primary concern as I begin this brief series of articles on suffering is this: how do I communicate the biblical perspective on suffering to a people, myself included, who live in such a safe environment? I don’t mean safe in terms of a low crime rate or the absence of racial tension. I mean safe in the sense that few of us ever have or ever will experience the kind or degree of suffering that Christians in the first century endured. Needless to say, this is a challenge for all of us.
That being said, look with me at what Peter said in 1 Peter 4:12-19.
“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. 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? And “If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” Therefore let those who suffer according to God's will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good”(1 Peter 4:12-19).
Let’s briefly consider why it is important for us to have a solid, Scriptural perspective on the issue of suffe