My dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful test you are suffering, as though something unusual were happening to you. Rather be glad that you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may be full of joy when his glory is revealed. Happy are you if you are insulted because you are Christ’s followers; this means that the glorious Spirit, the Spirit of God, is resting on you.
Read 1 Peter 4:7-19
Many people insulted the Lord when he lived among his people in Palestine almost two thousand years ago. Many people, in their words and in their actions, treated Jesus with utter contempt, even to the point of putting him through the painful and utterly degrading process of crucifixion. But Jesus did not respond with curses or hate. Instead he bore his suffering with patience and dignity and love, and in the true hope that his Father would vindicate him.
Because you belong to Christ, you share everything that is his. You share his right relationship with God. You share his unending life. You also share his capacity to suffer with patience and dignity.
When you pass through suffering, especially when you suffer for being a Christian, know that you are not on your own. In fact, when you suffer for being his follower you can be happy. If you share in the insults that are aimed at Christ, you can be sure that you also share in everything else that is his.
Lord Jesus, thank you for sharing all that you have with me. Since your Spirit rests on me, let me bear any insults with joy and happiness. Amen.
by Fraser Pearce, in ‘Renewed Hope for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 2000)
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