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1 Peter 4:16: Yet If Anyone Suffers As A Christian, Let Him Not Be Ashamed, But Let Him Glorify God In That Name.

1 Peter 4:16
[16] Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. (ESV)

As a society, we tend to be obsessed with our image. We are concerned about what the neighbors will think. We even worry about what other church members might think. After all, there might be somebody in our church who is more than happy to make judgments about our lives and then share with a group of gossips just how horrible we are. It would be nice if this did not happen, but we know better.

Sometimes we suffer sickness, loss, or even the death of a loved one. This kind of suffering is not persecution, but the aforementioned gossips in churches love to proclaim that you are experiencing this suffering because there must be some kind of sin in your life. They then assume they know what sin you are committing, and share their "knowledge" with others. This is tragic.

If you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed. If the suffering is direct persecution you should be honored that you are able to suffer. It is a privilege to be identified with Christ. We may not enjoy the actual persecution. What we should enjoy, however, is the knowledge that God sees what we are being persecuted for, and he will reward our faithfulness.

Acts 5 tells the story of how the disciples were brought before the religious leaders of their day, and were beaten for preaching in the name of Jesus Christ. Here is their response after being beaten: "Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name." (Acts 5:41). Notice, how joyful they were that they were worthy to suffer for Christ.

Don't worry about what anyone thinks about your life,  except God himself. If you suffer for Christ, you are blessed in this life and the next.