Read 1 Peter 4
Some of us may know what it’s like to live one way and then to repent. We know the sting of rejection that comes from strangers, friends, or family members who reject us for our beliefs. We know the pain of people we deeply care about making comments like “I can’t wait to see you outgrow this phase,” “You believe in what now?” or “I give you three months before you burn out.” Yet others know the pain of missing out on potential friends or the fleshly desire to regret following Christ at an early age. These are all side effects of the Church being set apart.
Peter gives us the wisdom that holy people do not panic in the face of hardship. Just like our Lord didn’t panic on the cross, we do not panic knowing the end of all things is closer every day. Instead, we are to have constant love and to serve others through God’s strength and His Word, so God may be known. The Church is not meant to suffer from our sins, instead when we suffer, it should be because we represent Christ. Suffering because of our sins isn’t suffering, it is the righteous consequence for our actions. When we suffer because of Christ, it is a blessing because we have been set apart by God Almighty!
The Church’s holiness does not depend on our circumstances but on the One we represent, the One who calls us holy. Our feelings and circumstances do not determine truth, God does. If God says the Church is holy, then it is—and we are to act accordingly. So do not be discouraged when you face hardship, and do not be distraught in peaceful times. Rest knowing Jesus has you, and He will never leave or forsake you because you are one of His holy people.
Pray to be a holy person who worships a holy God.