Have you ever trained and endured pain preparing for an athletic event, or a fitness goal you wanted to achieve? Or have you spent “painful” hours studying for a certification exam or a class you needed to pass?
In 1 Peter 4 we are told that as followers of Christ we will endure painful “trials” and “suffering”, and we are told that we shouldn’t be surprised at this. We are also promised that we will be glad we went through these trials and we will experience joy just as when we cross a finish line or get that certification we are studying for. And we are also comforted and blessed with God’s “Spirit of glory” that is upon us to help us.
We who claim to follow Christ would likely nod our head in agreement to this, but honestly do we actually live this out? Are we willing to give up our comfort, our standing, our popularity in social situations to adhere to our faith, or speak of Jesus? Are we willing to take a stand for an injustice or change our lifestyles now for the glory and joy we will experience later?
We make sacrifices and “suffer” for our athletic and career goals, but are we willing to make sacrifices and endure pain for Jesus’ name? We are told suffering and trails will happen, but are we willing to face this reality? Do we trust that we will find joy in this? I need to really examine myself honestly and make some choices…. How about you?
12 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. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.
1 Peter 4: 12-14