Don't think it strange

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”.

When something bad comes our way, as it will, we are shocked. Some of us think we are going to somehow make it through life unscathed, without a major tragedy. No illness, no loss of a job, and never a lost loved one.

Don’t be shocked and do not think it strange. Jesus says, “in the world you will have tribulation” (John 16:33). It is going to come. It is going to knock at your door, too. It may begin with the death of your grandparents. And then your parents. Eventually it could be the death of your spouse or even a child. Maybe a very close friend will die and remind you of your own mortality. But it will come. A fiery trial will come. Maybe the loss of a job after many years of working there. Maybe a long debilitating illness. So, don’t think it strange.

But don’t be shocked. Don’t think it strange. It will happen to everyone of us at least once in our life. Don’t ask why it’s happening. It happens to everyone. That is why Jesus warned us that we will have “tribulation” in the world..

The Apostle Peter was trying to show us that persecution, tribulation, hard difficulties and illnesses are often to try us–to put us to a test, so we can know what is within us.. It is never easy to be a Christian. The Christian life brings its own loneliness, its own unpopularity, its own problems, its own sacrifices and its own persecutions.

Peter says persecution is inevitable. The Christian is necessarily different from the world. He brings into every situation the standards of Jesus Christ. The Christian becomes a kind of conscience to the society in which he lives and moves. Most of the world would like to eliminate the troublesome twinges of conscience. Who wants to be reminded of guilt? So some opposition and even persecution will come because we are Christian. So don’t think it strange.

Death and illness is common to man, even Christians. All who live in the polluted air, or who are out during the flue season will experience some sickness. Death is the only way Christians travel to live in Heaven, unless, of course, Jesus comes first and takes us home with Him. In reality, persecution and tribulation are truly tests of our faith. And it is also the way the unsaved community will see the wonderful deliverance of God. They see Him answer our prayers. Or they realize He has made us able to endure. Many of them have given up hope.

Persecutions and tribulations are also ways in which we partake in the sufferings of Christ, “so that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.”

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