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1 Peter 4:13: 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
[13] But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. (ESV)

As we begin to look at this verse, let's start with the reality that we will face suffering. There is no getting around it. The Apostle Paul wrote about this in his last epistle, written at the end of his life. "Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted"  (2 Timothy 3:12). The issue, as the Apostle Peter will make clear, is how we respond to the persecution.

We will want to rejoice and be glad when Christ's glory is revealed. If we had any idea what kind of glory awaits us, when Christ returns, it would affect how we live our lives. We are so near-sighted in our understanding. God has promised great reward for those who have faithfully served and loved him. Our works do not save us. Our works, done for Christ's glory will be rewarded.

How we respond to the persecutions that come our way determine whether or not we will be filled with joy at Christ's appearing, or regret. So, what is the right response that God desires for us to have? We are to rejoice now, so that we can rejoice and be glad later. At first glance, we might think that joy is a difficult response to persecution, but if we understand that joy is a fruit of the Spirit, it should be expected.

In order to be joyful in your response to persecution, it is necessary for you to be living for Christ and not for yourself and your own passions. It is helpful to remember that without the suffering and unjust persecution that Christ received for our benefit, we would be eternally lost and under the heavy wrath of God the Father. To be identified with one so glorious as Christ should give us great joy.

Are you experiencing great persecution? As difficult as it might be, look ahead to the reward that awaits you. Celebrate the fact that you can identify with the glorious Christ, in the way that you respond to your persecution. Rejoice. Be glad.