When we struggle we often feel like God has left us, or that we did something to deserve the pain. We even doubt God and His faithfulness. But if we search the scriptures we’ll find that that is not the case. God is faithful. He will NEVER leave us nor forsake us.
1 Peter 4:12-19 NIV
12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ,you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” 19 So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.
This verse is helping us prepare for what lies ahead as Christians. We will face suffering as Christians.
Suffering: trouble, difficulty, hard stress in life, peer pressure, *many and bitter trials*
19 Your righteousness, God, reaches to the heavens, you who have done great things. Who is like you, God? 20 Though you have made me see troubles,
many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. 21 You will increase my honor and comfort me once more. 22 I will praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, my God; I will sing praise to you with the lyre, Holy One of Israel.
In this Psalm we are again made aware that life will bring hardship. We are also reminded that only God is the one who can get us through it. Look at all those ways the Lord God will bring us through the ugly.
He will restore us, bring us up, increase our honor, comfort us. Oh man I am so thankful for this.
Look back at verse 19 of 1 Peter chapter 4:
So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.
Our FAITHFUL Creator: God is the source of LIFE
(God does not cause our suffering or for us to sin but He does allow it to enter our paths)
Only God can give life, take away life, increase life, create life from nothing. How awesome is that.
Now listen to this:
verse 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.
When we become Christians we are filled with the Holy Spirit. We have God living inside of us. Here in verse 14 Peter says we have the spirit of God resting ON us. If we look through scripture for other examples of the Spirit is resting upon someone we will see it noted in very significant ways.
Acts 1:8 (right before Jesus Ascension in heaven) “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria,and to the ends of the earth.”
We will receive power! We will have the power to share the Gospel.
Matthew 3:16 “And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him;”
Jesus the very son of God, who is the very nature of God, had the spirit rest upon him. To know we are given the same gift the Father gave His son is comforting. It gives us rest, peace and encouragement.
Friends, God is faithful, He is all powerful, all knowing, and loving. If we remain faithful to God we will receive blessings. We will receive His holy spirit.
Take time and thank God for his gifts today. Thank him for blessing you with His spirit in you and resting upon you.
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