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1 Peter 4:12-19 Devotional – Day 2

Hearing God’s Voice from His Word

James 4:8 says, “Come near to God and he will come near to you.”
Take a moment and turn your attention to God. Tell God that you desire to trust and obey Him. Ask God to speak to you from His word.

Psalm of the Day

Psalm 138:4-6 All the kings on earth will give you thanks, Lord, when they hear what you have promised.
5 They will sing of the Lord’s ways, for the Lord’s glory is great.
6 Though the Lord is exalted, he takes note of the humble; but he knows the haughty from a distance.
Read the Entire Psalm

The LORD takes note of the Humble. Meditate on that phrase for a moment. God does not have a notepad, but imagine that He did. The people whose names He would write down are the humble. He is love. He is all-powerful. He has given us existence. Why would He be impressed by people who can jump high or run fast or sing well? He takes note of people who understand that all they have come from Him. Thank God that you don’t have to do something great to impress Him. All you must do is acknowledge His greatness and your dependence. Take a moment and confess God’s greatness and your dependence.

Scripture Reading
1 Peter 4:12-19 – English Standard Version
12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And

“If the righteous is scarcely saved,
what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”

19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Having God’s Ear through Prayer

  • Give thanks to God for His gifts and His goodness.
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal sin to you.
  • Confess your sin to Him and receive forgiveness.
    (1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sin He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins.”)
  • Bring your personal requests to God.
    (Psalm 62:8 “Pour out your heart before God”)
  • Pray for someone in your small group.
  • Join with others from River and pray for Youth Horizons. Pray for mentors from River to be faithful examples to the children they mentor.

Living as God’s People by applying the Bible

Scripture Reflection from the Sermon
Why is suffering surprising? For Peter’s readers, it is likely they believed that since they were following Christ, he would protect and exempt them from suffering. This didn’t happen, so they were trying to adjust their minds and hearts to a painful reality that they didn’t expect. Their understanding of the truth was half-baked. God had not failed to keep a promise, but they had failed to fully understand what he had promised. It seems to be intuitive that if God is good and all powerful that he would keep all suffering from his children. But what is counter-intuitive is in fact, true. God is good and powerful, and because he is wise and good, he will not protect his kids from suffering. If we think carefully about this, we will understand that no good and wise parent would choose to keep all problems and pain from their kids. This would not be good for them. Of course, God does have good planned for his kids, but this good is a permanent, eternal thing. In this life, we will continue to be surprised by suffering. Jesus understands our confusion and he does not dismiss it. “Do not be surprised” is not a rebuke, it is a gentle encouragement.