Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice in as much as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. (1 Peter 4:12-13 NIV)
What is your attitude when people react positively or negatively upon learning of your faith in Christ? Are you surprised? Or are you filled with joy, rejoicing in your continued fellowship with your Savior who also suffered and yet was without sin? Is fear of how people might treat you, keeping you from courageously walking forward into the next phase of your life or making an important decision?
Victor Frankl a brilliant doctor whom the Nazis imprisoned in a concentration camp learned that “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”1 You can choose to respond to people in ways that glorify God.
God’s Spirit of wisdom, understanding, counsel, might and knowledge rests upon you. This is a present reality, not just a future hope. Today God offers you the wisdom, understanding, counsel, knowledge and strength to respond with grace when people react to your faith and Christian worldview.
Your faithful creator holds the future and knows what your future holds. Your hope does not rest on what people think of your worldview, or what people say about you. Your hope rests in the one who created you and this world. Entrust your life in every moment and in every circumstance to God’s gentle, protective care for safekeeping. God is faithful, he is worthy of your trust. Demonstrate your trust by doing good, by following Christ’s example. Remember that the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their prayer.2 Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, then your heart will be filled with joy!
Gracious father we commit our lives to you, our faithful creator. Fill us with your joy when we participate in the sufferings of Christ so that we may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. Amen
Scripture– 1 Peter 4:12-19 NIV
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice in as much as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved,what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.
 Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning (Boston: Beacon Press, 2006), 66.
 1 Peter 3:12 NIV