Monday, February 27, 2006

Suffering (6) and Rejoicing

Christ’s suffering gives those who suffer a reason to rejoice. They are sharing in the glory of Jesus, so Peter urges them to rejoice.

But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. (1 Pet 4:13).
Peter commends the Asian Christians for rejoicing in their troubles (1 Pet 1:6). For him, it is a great privilege to be a Christian. They have been "born anew" (1 Pet 1:7) and have been given a great new life that is "guarded through faith" (1 Pet 1:5)
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you,(1 Pet 1:3,4).
We have this wonderful privilege, so we can rejoice even in suffering. We are chosen by God, and nothing can take away the joy that this knowledge brings. Even suffering is a cause for rejoicing because it purges and strengthens our character, unites us with Christ, and is a prelude to the glorious recompense of the last day . God's love and power is a guarantee of our hope, so we can rejoice with confidence.

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