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Enduring trials with the right attitude

(The following is taken from DAVID GUZIK COMMENTARY ON THE BIBLE, Studylight.org)

(1 Peter 4:12-13) .

Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.

Concerning the fiery trial which is to try you: Instead of thinking of trials (even fiery trials) as strange occurrences, we see them as ways to partake of Christ’s sufferings. And if we partake of His sufferings, we will also partake of His glory and joy.

Peter once told Jesus to avoid the suffering of the cross (Mark 8:32-33). “Once it seemed strange to the Apostle Peter that his Master should think of suffering. Now he thinks it strange that He could have imagined anything else.” (Meyer)

Partake of Christ’s sufferings: We can only partake of Jesus’ sufferings because He partook of our humanity and sufferings. He became a man and suffered so that our suffering wouldn’t be meaningless. It is good to share anything with Jesus, even His suffering.

Rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy: Our tendency is to embrace the glory and the joy, and to avoid any sharing of Jesus’ suffering. Or, we morbidly fixate on the suffering and forget that it is but a necessary prelude to the glory and joy.

We should never deny the place of suffering in building godliness in the Christian life. Though there is much needless pain we bear through lack of knowledge or faith, there is also necessary suffering. If suffering was a suitable tool to teach Jesus (Hebrews 5:8), it is a suitable tool to teach His servants.