Persecution & Suffering: 45

1 Peter 4:12-14 says, “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.  If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.”

We can see from this passage that it is through our sufferings that we can most closely identify with Him. God’s presence with us and within us is somehow made more real and substantial when we suffer for Him and because of Him. This is a blessing and a cause for joy.

In some way, we experience Jesus’ glory when we suffer for Him. Even more significantly, we will share His future glory when He returns. This is a cause for great rejoicing now and will be a cause for even greater joy when He returns. Peter tells us that this suffering is to be expected. It is normal. We should not be surprised at it. It will come and it will be severe if we are truly following Him. This is a test of our faith. How we respond to it matters. This is part of our seemingly upside-down Kingdom. Rejoice at these fiery ordeals!

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