Are you prepared to share in the sufferings of Christ? Brethren, I think we need to get ourselves prepared. Think about the direction the world is going regarding the things of God. The world is growing ever more hostile to truth. Many in the world believe that speaking about God and Christ is offensive. Speaking the truth in love about sin and the coming judgement is considered a definite faux pas, if not outright “hate speech.” Christians who support the traditional, biblical view of morality, the family, gender, sexuality, and the like are often branded as hateful bigots.
Let me ask you a question: Do you think things are going to get better or worse in the coming years?
We need to prepare ourselves to suffer with Christ. We need to prepare our children and grandchildren to be ready to suffer with Christ. One of the keys to being prepared is to learn to rejoice when we suffer for Christ’s sake. Peter writes, “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. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you … But if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.” (1 Peter 4:12-14, 16, NASB) Suffering for Christ is cause for rejoicing! If people look down on you for your faith, don’t be ashamed. Keep on rejoicing! When people say nasty things about you because you’re trying to hold to the truth of God’s word, don’t hang your head. Keep on rejoicing! When we suffer with Christ, don’t feel alone in your struggle. You are not alone because the Spirit of God is resting on you! Suffering with Christ is not a time to be downcast. It is a time to lift up your voice and glorify God.
We need to dwell on these things. We need to be preparing ourselves and our families for the suffering that will come to those who are striving to live godly lives. And when suffering comes, let us rejoice and give glory to God.