It’s one thing for Peter to tell us not to be surprised by suffering, but to insist that we “rejoice” in it is another thing altogether. But this is precisely what he says. Continue reading . . .
It’s one thing for Peter to tell us not to be surprised by suffering, but to insist that we “rejoice” in it is another thing altogether. But this is precisely what he says.
“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. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And “If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” Therefore let those who suffer according to God's will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good” (1 Peter 4:12-19).
Note first of all that your ability to rejoice in the midst of your suffering is related to your recognition that you are united with Christ. You are one with him. You are sharing in the suffering he experienced when an unbelieving world vented its hatred and venomous contempt on him. If you claim exemption from suffering, you have essentially renounced your union with Christ!
We find similar language to this in Acts 5:41 where the apostles were beaten for having borne witness to Christ a