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Suffering's Expiration Date

Daily Reading: 1 Peter 4-5

Scripture Focus: Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. (1 Peter 4:16)

Devotional Thought: Peter wrote his letters to encourage Christians in intense persecution. He did this by reminding them that they were blessed when they suffered and should rejoice to share in Christ’s sufferings.

Most of us have never experienced intense persecution, fearing for our lives or the lives of our family members. In many areas of the world, however, sharing your faith is literally a matter of life or death. Thanks to the relative religious freedom we enjoy in the United States, most of us will never have to choose between our faith and life itself. And yet, in many ways we still suffer for holding on to the truth as it is given to us in God’s Word. Increasingly, Christians are called on to soften their views of sin, to broaden their acceptance of sin within the church, and to simply tolerate their neighbors, rather than loving them (and exposing them to the gospel that some would consider highly offensive). Sadly, many have fallen victim to this “watered-down” form of Christianity, which isn’t even remotely like what Jesus preached.

What are we to do as believers? Stand strong in love without shying away from the truth, because it is life-giving. Do not overlook your own sin, but acknowledge that we are all broken, sinful humans without the grace of Jesus. Rejoice in sharing our small part of suffering for Christ, letting it change our hearts and increase our gratitude. Rest assured that all suffering has an expiration date. “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you,” (1 Pet. 5:10).


Prayer: Lord, in our lives we will face trials, persecution, and suffering. Use these experiences to draw us closer to you, to create in us hearts of compassion, and to glorify you.

Psalm of the Day: 1 O God, you have rejected us, broken our defenses; you have been angry; oh, restore us. 2 You have made the land to quake; you have torn it open; repair its breaches, for it totters. 3 You have made your people see hard things; you have given us wine to drink that made us stagger. 4 You have set up a banner for those who fear you, that they may flee to it from the bow. Selah 5 That your beloved ones may be delivered, give salvation by your right hand and answer us! (Psalms 60:1-5)

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