Tidings for Tuesday

If any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God on this behalf. 1 Peter 4:16

We are not called upon much here in Canada to suffer as Christians, not the way Christians are tormented by the godless communists and deluded Mohammedans. While we should pray daily for those people who are being tormented and murdered by those who hate our Lord, we should also appreciate that we do not have those things to fear in our relatively safe country. Other than the odd insult or sneer, we receive no anguish or even any inconvenience for being Christians. We have nothing to be afraid of or to complain about.

Peter was writing to and about dear saints whose lives were in peril in many instances. Many had lost families, possessions, health, and liberty. They knew what it was to suffer as Christians. Peter’s word to them was that they were not to be ashamed, regardless of what those around them said. Even as they were being overwhelmed by adversaries and tormentors, they were on the winning side and would rise in victory and freedom in the end. Peter was not criticizing their lack of courage or any wavering on their part; rather he was urging them to continue their courageous efforts that were bringing glory to their Lord.

Even with our lives, liberty, and rights protected, we shun any situations where we might be singled out and be the targets of sarcasm, ridicule, or any other objections to our Christianity. Are we ashamed of what we profess?

It should be noted that the word ‘Christian’ or ‘Christians’ appears only three times in Scripture: a term of insult applied to the Saints at Antioch, an insulting joke that Agrippa taunted Paul with, and here in Peter’s epistle. To be a Christian is not to be popular with the world.

Be like the early Christians who were flogged in Jerusalem but rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. -Jim MacIntosh

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