Throughout our lives we are meant to imitate Christ, we are partners with him. He is our perfect example (Ephesians 5:1-2,1 Peter 1:21,1 Peter 4:12). When we get baptized we do it as an outward sign of an inward change, but also to follow Christ’s example. We get excited to follow Christ into his glory and trust in him for our salvation, but are we as eager to join him in his suffering?
The apostles had a different attitude and perspective on suffering, persecution and trials. I would guess most of us don’t have their viewpoint. Many times, in the New Testament we are told to let trials and persecution be an opportunity for joy (James 1:2, 1 Peter 4:8, Colossians 1:11-12, 1 Thessalonians 1:6). In 1 Peter 4:6 it states this: So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while.
Maybe the apostles understood what is conveyed in this verse.
1 Peter 5:10 - In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.
This is one verse, two sentences. In his kindness you will share in his glory, through Christ AND his suffering! Could it be that this suffering we are experiencing is God’s Kindness for us?
Our church is certainly suffering right now. We have so much to be praying for. We also have so much to be thankful for. This time can leave us very confused to understand God’s plan in all this pain and suffering. This last week I shared a message titled In His Kindness that gives us a different perspective on what we are currently experiencing.
Pray over this, meditate on these verses, and let God’s truth sink in during this challenging time.