1 Peter 4:12-14 (NLT)
12 Dear friends, don�t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. 13 Instead, be very glad�for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world. 14 So be happy when you are insulted for being a Christian, for then the glorious Spirit of God rests upon you. 15 If you suffer, however, it must not be for murder, stealing, making trouble, or prying into other people�s affairs. 16 But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name!

In these verses the apostle Peter tells us there will be angry and serious trials that come against Christians. He tells us to be glad when we face trials due to our belief in Christ for we have become partners with Christ in His suffering for us. However our suffering is not to be self-inflicted. We should not pursue things of this world that bring troubles to us, such as murder, stealing, making trouble or prying into the business of others. We should always find joy to be known by the name of Christ even when the trials of suffering come our way. Praise God that you are called a Christian for you have Christ and you have eternal salvation.

As Christians we are not to be ashamed of the name of Jesus Christ and we are not to be ashamed to be called Christians. Yet for being a Christian we may face those who want to ridicule and belittle the name of Christ and their hate is railed towards us. Yesterday I read a message that said the following, �DON'T donate to Christian charities for Japan quake. We need blankets & food, not bibles & Fundamentalist propaganda.� There are many Christian charities that hand out food, clothes and even blankets. I think of Jesus saying about fathers, �If a child asks you for a fish do you hand them a snake?� Similarly when people ask for food and blankets that is the priority in which a Christian reacts. Meet a person�s needs first and explain later when asked why you desire to meet their need. I know Christians ministering in parts of the world where they are forbidden to say they are Christian unless someone asks. Yet it seems like Christians are the only ones attacked, the only ones mentioned in a negative way. So I encourage everyone to stand firm in their faith knowing Christ understands the suffering you will endure for His Namesake.