1 Peter 4:12-19

We love underdog stories. The most captivating part of an underdog story is the reversal from failure to success, the more pressure and more challenges encountered by the underdog, the success becomes more exhilarating. 

A sojourner is essentially an underdog story. Like an underdog with the odds against him, trial and suffering are the odds encountered by the Christian sojourners (1 Peter 4:12).

  • Peter and many followers of Jesus Christ never experienced deliverance during their lifetime.
  • There seems to be no reversal from failure to success in this underdog story.
  • The only way to see the success in the life of a sojourner requires us to see life through the perspective of eternal reality.
  • When Peter sees life through eternal reality, he realizes that suffering is temporary when measured against eternity; and his suffering is a suffering that leads to glory.
  • This glory is the success of an underdog sojourner.

Therefore, we rejoice when we suffer for Christ, because this suffering leads to glory (1 Peter 4:13-19).

  • The glory is that God will vindicate us, there is a reversal of fate at the final judgment. People who persecute Christians today will be judged by God, and their doom will be frightful; but those who suffer for Christ today will receive great reward in heaven.
  • Jesus’s life illustrates suffering is the pathway to glory, his cross comes before the crown.
  • 1Peter realizes that his life on earth is not all that there is to life, he will be resurrected just like the resurrected Jesus and share in the glory of God and reigns with God forever.
  • We can also experience the glory today because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon us in the midst of our suffering.

Our willingness to suffer for God and rejoice in this suffering is a sign that we really are God’s people. Finally, our suffering is never a suffering that is alone.

  • Suffering ties us to Jesus Christ, we experience union with Christ in our sufferings.
  • We also face suffering in solidarity with the church, knowing that we are co-sufferers on the same journey of the cross.