Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you

by Mike Ratliff

12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; 13 but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. 14 If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; 16 but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 1 Peter 4:12-17 (NASB) 

In yesterday’s post, Born of the will of God, I shared the experience of a trying day with someone who hated our faith and wanted to do everything possible to discourage us and attack everything we hold dear about what God has given us in Christ. This morning I was reading a friend’s blog and discovered that he had gone through almost the same experience that day as well. He and I agreed that God was obviously working in us for His purposes yesterday. Several days ago a missionary was killed trying to reach an isolated people on an island in the Indian Ocean. There is a lot of controversy about this. Some are saying he was not a real missionary. Some are defending him. Some of the most vicious attacks are coming from within the ‘visible church.” I don’t know all the facts so I have stayed out of all that, however, in one discussion group in which I am part of the firestorm over this began today. I started reading through it and discovered to my dismay that a few of the admins of that group were taking turns blasting a good friend of mine who was defending the integrity and mission of the missionary who was killed. I stepped in and got between him and the admins. I took a lot of the heat, traded blows, made them back up some then the most vicious one became very insulting. I asked, “Am I supposed to be afraid of you just because you are an admin sonny?” A few minutes later he muted my account for 24 hours.  Continue reading