By JANA HENRY|CONTRIBUTOR
In week 15, we come to Peter’s final discourse on suffering. It’s interesting that Peter writes back in 3:13, “Now, who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good?” And now, in the beginning of this section, he is almost assuring them that suffering will come. At the very minimum, he is telling his readers not be surprised when they do suffer. What caused Peter to go from telling his readers not to worry? His warning to get ready causes a little bit of speculation on the part of commentators, as do many other parts of this letter. Whatever his reasons for writing as he did, Peter’s exhortations concerning suffering have encouraged Christians down through the ages and continue to offer much to gird us up through all types of trials.
After this week, we are two weeks away from having all of I Peter hidden in our hearts. Are you seeing his words pop up in your daily thought process? I pray so, for that is what it’s all about. Let’s see what tips I can come up with for memorizing this rather long section .
(12) Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.
There are two “s” words. The idea is don’t be surprised and don’t think it strange. The phrase in italics can be a bit of tongue twister – remember there are two “you’s.”
(13) But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.
Rejoice is used twice – “rejoice that you may also rejoice” remember the order – may also not also may. And then there are two g’s.
(14) If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.
Two verses (14 & 16) that essentially say the same thing. This says “name of Christ” and verse 16 says “Christian”. Glory and God – two g’s.
(15) But let none of you suffer as a murder or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler.
4 types of people – m. t. e. m.
(16) Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.
This verse uses the word “suffer,” verse 14 uses the word “insulted.” Remember this order – “let him not” and then “but let him”.
(17) For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
God – mentioned twice, and two “o’s”
(19) And “If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”
This is a quotation from Proverbs 11:31. This helped me to remember – “If the RSS, what will become of the US?
(19) Therefore, let those who suffer according to the will of God, continue entrusting themselves to a faithful creator while doing good.
Remember, we are talking about suffering that is according to the will of God. And those who suffer, are to “continue entrusting themselves” just like Jesus (2:23).
Good – this is the last time Peter uses the word good in I Peter. 17 times in all.
That brings us to the end of chapter 4. Next we begin to wrap up the letter with a relatively short chapter 5.
Until next week
Soli Deo Gloria