Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing; so that also at the revelation of His glory, you may rejoice with exultation.

1 Peter 4: 12, 13

 

Maybe you view your own life differently than I do mine, but I really don’t use the expressions “fiery ordeal” and “keep on rejoicing” in the same sentence very often. They just don’t seem compatible to me. Also, there is no logical connection between going through the ordeal and describing it as bringing on the rejoicing. This would come close to the sort of bizarre thinking that receives funny stares and that most people would consider to be totally nuts.

 

Yet, God doesn’t ask us to do the things that the world around us considers normal, and He doesn’t hide the truth about the potential challenges that we will face because we choose to follow His way, either. There is real opposition to God’s way of living, and it will come after everyone who desires to serve Christ. However, God is always with us when it does. Christ continuously walks through all that this world has to offer along side of His people. He never fails to bring relief for the pain and healing for the injuries that we suffer in the struggle.

 

These times of hardship, struggles, and suffering serve to focus our hearts and minds on the Lord. They bring about clarity of vision that is not found through any other means. After going through a very hard time or situation and experiencing the peace, freedom, and joy that Christ brings to me out of it, it is only natural to sing out loudly with praise and worship for my Savior.