12 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; 13 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. 14 If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 1 Peter 4:12-14
We tend to–I tend to–rivet my focus on the fiery ordeal, thinking, I’d like to avoid that if at all possible. But what these verses are saying is that suffering for Christ’s sake reaps many good things that we otherwise might not enjoy. That’s why we are led into such experiences for our testing, because he wants us to rejoice in him, and he wants to rest his glory on us. You only get these blessings having successfully endured periods of suffering for his sake.
I’ve only gone through one such experience in my life when everything–my job–was on the line. I was truly surprised to find myself in an executive conference room face-to-face with a very powerful, intimidating man, who was instructing me to leave my faith at the door. I said, if I did that, I could not go through it, the door that is. How crazy was that? But I said it, and the Lord was gracious.
In the end, that man came to know Christ and head a well-known national ministry. I’d say, that fiery ordeal, and it was terrifying at the time, was well worth it. Certainly only good came from it.
So at the revelation of Christ, I’ll walk through another door with some company.