Those who have served well gain… great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus. 1 Timothy 3:13 (NIV) We are not saved by the strength of our trust, the depth of our love, or the consistency of our service. Jesus saves us. But you will grow in faith as you...
Rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ. 1 Peter 4:13 (NIV)
Now why does Peter say, “Rejoice…that you participate in the sufferings of Christ?” Because if you share in his sufferings, you will also share in his glory (4:13). Christ was despised and rejected in this world, but now He is risen and exalted—at the right hand of the Father, and if you are in Christ, that will happen to you too.
What happens to Jesus happens to you—and if you are insulted, mocked, ridiculed, or persecuted for Jesus’ sake, “you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you” (4:14). This is where Christ will be seen in you, how it will be known that you belong to Him.
This is what Peter means when he says, “It is time for judgment to begin with the family of God” (4:17). Peter is not talking about judgment in the sense of condemnation. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:1).
The word he uses here (that is translated “judgment”) means a test that can have a positive or negative outcome. For example, runners log many miles in advance to prepare for a race. And on race day, when they get to the course, there are timers or judges. Now the judges are not there to condemn the athletes. They are there to judge what has been achieved by each one.
What kind of progress are you making in the Christian life? One way you can judge your maturity in Christ is by your response to the disappointments of life.
Think about the suffering you’ve endured over the past week, month, year. What does your response to it tell you? What would an impartial judge say?