1Pet. 4:12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is taking place among you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed.
We don’t often like to consider the idea of suffering and yet we find it in scripture. Ordeals and difficulties are not something strange, but they are part of the ordinary of life. Christ suffered for us by way of his death on the cross. As we participate in the life of Christ we may also suffer for the life of Christ. The glory of Christ is revealed when he is clearly reflected in us. If Christ suffered for our sake, we may also be asked to suffer for the sake of others. This is Christ in us — and our participation in him.
Getting to really know Christ takes us to places where we may not feel comfortable. Jesus did not live a life of security within the walls of the temple in Jerusalem. He was God incarnate and he walked the dusty roads of his country reaching out to the neediest of people and touching them with his life. He suffered just so that he could minister. He was the object of ridicule and scorn and yet he remained faithful to the mission.
We are called to follow Christ and to remain true to the mission. We don’t talk about this much but it requires dying out and wholeheartedly sharing life with our Savior. We walk where he walks — we talk as he would talk — we minister as he would minister — and as a result, we share in his sufferings. This is simply a normal part of the Christian life; or at least it ought to be.
Making Christlike disciples in the nations — rejoicing with glad hearts because his glory is revealed when we look like him in all things. Therefore, I rejoice in my sufferings.
Lord, I want to know you and participate with you in your mission in this world. Amen.
If you would like to read more "Reflecting the Image" click on the image to take you to the NPH bookstore.The book is also available in Kindle format on Amazon.com.