“So those who suffering according to God’s will should, in doing good, entrust themselves to a faithful Creator.” (1 Peter 4:19)
What does it mean to “suffer according to God’s will?” Does that mean God wills for us to suffer? Some who do not know the Lord, who do not understand His purposes, and who resist God’s invitation to walk with Him might, in fact, lay that as a charge against the Christian faith as a reason why they want nothing to do with Christianity. Here is what they need to understand.
The suffering Peter speaks of is the suffering inflicted on Christians by ungodly persecutors of Christians just because they are Christians and take their stand with Jesus. God is not the author of their suffering. He knows it is going to happen, of course, and He could stop it; instead He allows it, because stopping it would mean destroying the ungodly He is try to reach out of a loving and compassionate heart.
God does not necessarily will or plan for the persecution of His children. His children, who are committed to His purpose of redemption, are simply willing to endure their fiery ordeals in order to contribute to the fulfillment of God’s purposes. Christians who suffer persecution understand that it is God’s will for them to be faithful in such ordeals in order to glorify God and point their persecutors toward faith. They also know that if their persecutors should not relent, judgment awaits them when they come face to face with the Lord. Thus, we trust ourselves to the Lord, knowing that following Jesus, who went to the cross, could well result in persecution, but we are willing to endure such for the sake of the gospel.
Lord, We trust ourselves to You. Amen.