Rejoice as You Share Christ's Sufferings
But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. (1 Peter 4:13 ESV)
We hate to suffer, but God loves to cause us to rejoice in suffering. How does He bring that about? God uses everything that happens in our hearts and lives for His perfect, sovereign, merciful, and gracious plans. He seeks our loving obedience and our glad cooperation with His program.
Someme times when we suffer we lose perspective and start to think all kinds of things that aren't true. Sometimes we think that God is punishing us for our sins or that we haven't been following Jesus closely enough, when all the while God is wanting us to notice His hand in our lives and yield to His plan. It is not easy, but painful, and God is carrying us every step of the way.
We cannot change our circumstances but God can change us through our circumstances. God wants to cause us to rejoice and be glad in suffering because we share in Christ's sufferings, and we will ultimately rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed. God's glory is revealed in our lives on a daily basis, and when Christ returns His glory will be fully revealed. We eagerly await that day.