The Practice of Living Hope - Part 2
Topic: Hope Scripture: 1 Peter 4:1–4:11
When you hear the word, “suffering” what comes to mind? Perhaps you have sprained your ankle or had a root canal or were injured in some other way. Perhaps we would rather not think about it? (1 Peter 4:1-11)
When Peter wrote his first letter, the Christian Church was in its infancy and Emperor Nero was beginning to persecute them. Peter writes to them to encourage them to stand strong. Peter says, “Look to Christ and His example (3:17) and arm yourselves with the same attitude.” The reality is that if someone is willing to suffer for what is right they are probably done with doing what is wrong. (4:1) The Christian living in the hope of eternity with Christ understands that suffering for the Christ follower is inevitable. So, be prepared, arm yourself for it.
Not only should we be prepared to suffer pain for Christ but the Christian also appreciates that Christ could return at anytime (4:7) so, one needs be clear-minded and self controlled so that they can pray well informed prayers. As we pray for and in the context of our surroundings, in harmony with the mind of God, we should be motivated to care for others who are on the journey with us. A sincere love for one another ought to occupy our hearts so much so that we overlook offenses, offer hospitality, and serve one another with the gifts, skills, or abilities that God has given us. (4:8-10)
So that in all things God would be praised through Jesus Christ.
Suffering means pain. Are you ready to suffer pain for Christ?
Will you pray intelligently and become more aware of the coming of Christ?
Will you serve one another out of love so that God would be praised?
Living out our hope prepares for suffering and serves the body.