Scripture: 1 Peter 4:12-14
12Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 14If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.
Beloved: Peter, loves this gathering of Believers and he knows God does too.
Don’t be surprised with troubles come because of following Jesus.
Rejoice when you are insulted because of Jesus.
You are blessed.
Because the Spirit of Glory and of God rests on you.
In his book, What Americans Really Believe, Rodney Stark observes that
people who did not enter college (34%) and those who attended college (33%) were equally likely to witness, but those who attended graduate school (16%) were much less likely to do so. This may be partly due to the fact that the graduate-educated were more likely than others to agree with the statement: “‘I have kept my religious beliefs to myself for fear of ridicule.’” A university faculty lounge would be a very uncomfortable place to do any witnessing. p. 26, What Americans Really Believe.
Fear of ridicule is another form of our fear of people. Social pressure is real. But the Spirit of God is calling us to lean into that realm of fear and actually let the glory of Jesus be revealed through our lives. Faith in the academy persists. But is does come with its social pressures. If you find yourself in such circles of humiliation because of your identification with Jesus Christ, count yourself blessed.
Heavenly Father, I have friends who are in the midst of their grad-school fear-factor. And I have friends who do indeed face the risk of “fiery trials” because of their faith in other countries. May your Spirit give them courage and wisdom to love people in your name and to proclaim your Gospel clearly. AMEN.