Overflowing Joy 4

The Aim of this devotional study is to grow in perspective and desire for godly JOY.


1 Peter 4:12-14

12  Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.  13  But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.  14  If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.

Observations and reflection

This letter of Peter is written to a suffering church.

  1. Read these three verses a few times – perhaps even out loud. Then write down Peter’s message in your own words.
  2. How do you understand suffering as a “fiery trial”? What does Peter mean by that?
  3. Verse twelve says that the church should “not be surprised” when suffering comes – that it is not “something strange”. What are your thoughts about that verse?
  4. Why are Christians surprised when they suffer? What do people tend to think when they suffer?
  5. Do you think it strange that he instructs the readers to rejoice in suffering? Can you identify with that statement? Why can Christians rejoice in suffering?  Think and write a few biblical reasons that come to mind.
  6. Do you see the promise of eternal joy hidden in the second half of verse 13? What is it?
  7. How do you interpret verse 14? Why were the readers blessed to suffer while the Spirit of God rests on them?

Application and prayer

  1. Spend some time and prepare your heart in prayer with God so that
  • You may not be surprised when you suffer as a Christian
  • Than you may see suffering on earth as temporal testing of your faith and character (“fiery trial” v12)
  • That you see suffering as a Christian not as abandonment or punishment from God, but rather as identification with Christ, with eternal glorious rewards.
  1. Spend some time to pray for a friend who is suffering in some way – for his faith to remain steadfast in God, to be anchored in God’s love, and for joy to fill his heart.

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