In verses 12 -19 of I Peter 4, the apostle deals with the subject of suffering. Those who first received the letter were not to consider it a strange thing, but were to meet it with rejoicing (12 -13). No Christian should be ashamed of suffering if it is for being a Christian (16). Other lessons could be noted, but verse 19 might be overlooked. Goodspeed ’s translation has it like this: “Therefore, those who suffer by the will of God must entrust their souls to a Creator who is faithful, and continue to do what is right.” Persistence, hanging on, remaining in the faith – these are essential.
There are assurances in the scriptures that our efforts of faith are worthwhile. “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Gal. 6:9). I Cor. 15:58 assures us our “labor is not in vain in the Lord. ”
But, it is just as true that there is a danger of giving up. Recall that Gal. 6:9 ends with “. . . if we do not lose heart. ” John 6:66 reminds us that “many” of the Lord ’s disciples walked with Him no more.
Some give up because of difficulties they experience. It is important to remember that quitting the faith cannot help. It will only increase our difficulty. An abandoned faith leaves us without support to face our difficulties.
Some get discouraged. It may be with others or with themselves. The Hebrews writer would offer this: “For consider Him (Jesus) who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls” (Heb. 12:3). If the Lord had given up, we could not be saved.
How do we keep going? Take advantage of resources. One is His word (Ps. 119:11). Another is prayer. Public worship is helpful. When we worship with others, we draw strength.
Remember, Jesus wants “. . . to present you holy and blameless, and above reproach in His sight – if indeed you continue in the faith . . .” (Col. 1:22 -23).