1 Peter 4
The whole force of the argument which the apostle has used in speaking thus of the Christ was to show these saints how through suffering Christ reached a triumph, and to call them to arm themselves with His mind. Let them act by ceasing from sin and all the gratifications of the flesh which had characterized their past.
Injunctions followed the argument. The light of the future is turned on the past, "The end of all things is at hand." The effect of this certainty is then stated in its personal and relative aspects. The individual is to be of sound mind and sober unto prayer. The ultimate purpose is that God may be glorified in all things.
The apostle's last words of comfort for those in the midst of testing is that "fiery trial" is not "strange." The process is watched by God and made a means of grace.
Such results, however, do not follow suffering, which is the consequence of sin. Where persecution is the result of relationship to Christ let there be no shame, but rather rejoicing. Let them accept the name and glorify God in it by fulfilling its true meaning, and manifesting itself in life. Seeing that judgment begins at the house of God, there is no room to doubt the punishment of those who in evil life persecute its members. Remembering that these fires of persecution are watched by God, and never allowed to harm His own, let them commit their souls to Him. Thus the attitude of quiet patience is enjoined on all who suffer for the sake of the Name they bear.
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25