1 Peter 4:18-19, “And “If the righteous is scarcely saved,
what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”[a] 19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.”
Today, we come to the end of 1 Peter 4 and our discussion on suffering that began in 1 Peter 4:12. Throughout 1 Peter we have explained how Peter wrote to people who were facing suffering for bearing the name of the Lord Jesus. Peter teaches us that this suffering should not be a surprise to the Christian but should be cause for rejoicing since, by it, Christians share in the sufferings of the Lord Jesus (1 Peter 4:12-13). Throughout our study, we have also explained how the suffering Peter talks about is complex. Peter refers to the “undeserved” suffering the Christian might bear because they are God’s people. Peter also commands his readers and Christians today to not suffer as evildoers (1 Peter 4:15). We can also see he recognized some of the sufferings Christians encounter in this life is a result of our evil deeds. When Christians do wrong, they may experience difficulties and suffering, even though such suffering does not bring the same kind of blessing as the suffering they experience for doing the right thing.
As we continue our study of 1 Peter, we will explore some of these things in greater depth, but for today, 1 Peter 4:18-19 teaches God’s people how they are to endure suffering as they wait for the Kingdom of God to be consummated. 1 Peter 4:19 tells readers that they who suffer according to God’s will must entrust themselves to Him while doing good.
The suffering Peter has in mind here is the suffering Christians experience from the ungodly for bearing the name of Christ. With that said, this verse also applies even to the suffering God’s people experience for doing wrong. After all, all things in our lives happen as a result of God’s will. That does not mean that the Lord approves of every individual act or hidden motive, but that all things are ordained by Him and will contribute to His glory ultimately. The Christian’s suffering, deserved or undeserved, is ordained by God. If we are to continue to trust Him to do the good that brought His people unjust suffering or by turning away from the evil for which we may justly suffer, we must trust Him. You and I may not always understand the trouble we face, nor the reasons behind it but 1 Peter 4:18-19 reminds God’s people, they must always trust the Lord.
1 Peter 4:18-19 also states that the righteous are scarcely saved, but does not warn readers that salvation can be lost. John Calvin says that no one enters the Kingdom without experiencing hardship. Even in our trouble, Calvin writes, it is, “certain that we are guided by God’s hand, and that we are in no danger of shipwreck as long as we have him as our pilot.” Today you may be facing a tremendous amount of challenging situations for you. Please remember that the Lord our God is faithful to all of His promises, He is in control, and is even now interceding for you, His beloved son or daughter.