The Hour of Unusual Threat
By John Piper
If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. (1 Peter 4:14)
Many Christians in the world today do not know the life-threatening danger that comes with believing in Christ. We have gotten used to being free from such persecution. It seems like the way things must be.
So, our first reaction to the threat that things might be otherwise is often anger. But that anger may be a sign that we have lost our sense of being sojourners and exiles (“Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles . . .” 1 Peter 2:11).
Perhaps we have settled too much into this world. We don’t feel as homesick for Christ as Paul did: “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20).
Many of us need the reminder, “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” (1 Peter 4:12). It isn’t strange.
Have you ever wondered how you will do in the hour of final trial? The gunman has you in his sights and asks, “Are you a Christian?” Here is a strong word to give you hope that you may do better than you think.
Peter says, “If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you” (1 Peter 4:14). This encouragement from Peter says that in the hour of unusual threat (whether insult or death) there will be “a Spirit of glory and of God resting on us.” Doesn’t that mean that God gives special help in the hour of crisis to those who suffer because they are Christians?
I don’t mean he is absent from our other sufferings. I just mean that Peter went out of his way to say that those who suffer “for the name of Christ” will experience a special “resting” on them of “the Spirit of glory and of God.”
Pray that this would be your experience when the trial comes. There will be resources of endurance in that moment that we do not have any other time. Take heart.