“However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.” 1 Peter 4:16. This verse came to my attention as I was reading His word and it really made me stop and think about how we suffer in life, why we suffer and how and why God allows it to happen.
This verse is a great reminder that we should be proud to suffer for Christ. We should be proud to bear the name Christian. It has significant weight to it. To bear the name Christian in my opinion means to go where God had called you to go whether you see the full picture or not. So many times, in life we don’t see the full picture. We are called to be witnesses unto Jesus and the things He has done for us and everyone in our lives. We are called by Him and not to mention equipped by Him to spread His Good News. God didn’t come into this world to die for our sins for no reason. Nor did He come into our hearts, souls, bodies and minds for no reason. He wants us to be proud to spread His name and His word with the entire world. Being a Christian and bearing that name also means being proud of the work you do for Him even in the middle of persecution, mocking, mockery, isolation and even death.
We should be willing to go through anything to proclaim our faith in Christ boldly. Just as Christ boldly proclaimed His love for us. We should be willing to go as far as Christ is for us. To death for our faith and for the love of our savior, and for our fellow man. Suffering for Christ is so much better than suffering without Him. If we suffer for Him we are following His commands to be servants and be there for others in the same way He was and is there for all of us. When suffering hits, us in life, we can take pride and even find peace in it because He already knows what will happen every day. We are not if this world. We are His. We shouldn’t be ashamed or afraid to go through our hard times because we know that they often lead to beautiful destinations. We shouldn’t be afraid to suffer for our faith because without suffering there wouldn’t be as much compassion. We shouldn’t be ashamed to suffer in the name of our Lord.
Look at how many people suffered for their faith and for Him in the Bible-Paul, who was originally called Saul, he originally wanted to cause so much suffering in other believers and in Christians life. He even wanted to kill them. At times, he even succeeded in killing Christians. But, when God stepped in, he was transformed from Saul to Paul. He went from town to town preaching the Gospel and the good news of Jesus Christ as His new-found Savior. How awesome is that? For someone to go from killing people because of their faith, to be transformed by God and have a one on one encounter with God Himself. Then he died in prison while serving God. He disciples preformed miracles in Jesus’ name. They brought people’s sight back and raised people from the dead, all because of the power of the Holy Spirit was working within them.
Some Bible verses that talk about suffering include: 1 Peter 5: 10 says,” and the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” This verse helps all of us remember to remain strong in our faith and focused on God even through our suffering. Once we have suffered for a while, God will allow us to be strong firm and steadfast again.
2 Corinthians 3:1-4 says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” This verse reminds us to trust God during our suffering.
Suffering for our faith is an honor and a privilege.
If Jesus can suffer, death on the cross for us, how can we not suffer for Him? Being a Christian isn’t an easy job by any means. But it is such an awesome privilege to proclaim His name even though it may cause us to lose friends. Remember that God sees how we suffer and He will always give us a way out of it. He also sees how we bring others to Him. He wants all of His children to come to Him. Suffering is a part of life, but suffering for God and for His namesake is an honor that no one should take for granted.