Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NIV What is the relationship between joy, prayer, and thanksgiving? Be joyful always Look back over your Christian life and see what God has done. God has...
If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. 1 Peter 4:15-16 (NIV)
Peter gives an important warning here. Make sure you don’t bring suffering on yourself. There are some folks who develop a martyr complex and go out of their way to bring trouble on themselves.
There is no value in the suffering you bring on yourself. Some people bring suffering on themselves by committing crimes. Peter adds another way some people bring trouble on themselves—by meddling.
A meddler is someone who pokes his (or her) nose into other people’s business. Christians have no place doing that. It is good for us to remember the universal truth that he who pokes his nose into other people’s business is liable to get that nose punched. We are not in the business of trying to force our beliefs on other people. If we try to do that, we deserve all the trouble we get.
This is one of only three occasions where the word Christian is used in the Bible. It was a nickname, and the pagans said it with contempt: “Christian—one of those people who think that the man who died in Jerusalem is going to save the world!”
Peter uses the nickname: “If people despise what you are, Christian, don’t be ashamed. Praise God that you bear that name.” They insult you with the name Christian, but that name is worthy of great honor! God highly exalted Him, and one day God will highly exalt you.
Have you ever brought suffering on yourself as a Christian? What happened?