Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad – for these trials make you partners with Christ in His suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing His glory when it is revealed to all the world.
– 1 Peter 4:12-13
The trials Christians suffer on account of being followers of Christ! We should not be surprised at this, nor ashamed of it. Rather, it should make us happy and lead us to glorify God, for if we share in Christ’s suffering it means we will also share in His exaltation. Such suffering is encountered by Christians, who are prepared to stand up to be counted when their beliefs are under attack, and when their adherence to God’s precepts can even result in social stigmatisation …and more.
Just think of how, today, the world appears to be increasingly scoffing at those who are anti-divorce, anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, and so on. Such pressures can cause many to compromise, but God is not about compromise!
This liberal world does all it can to lure us away from our faith; to undermine any desire and commitment we may have to obey God’s commandments. The world constantly tempts the committed believer by promising instant solutions and gratification in its efforts to undermine Christian resolve. The world appears to insist on belittling personal sacrifice and spiritual obedience, more than broadly hinting that such attitudes are obsolete and irrational.
But, as Christians, we believe, that when suffer on Christ’s account in this life, by following His teachings and commandments, we can approach eternal life with greater confidence and hope.
“Those who share in the suffering of Christ are also called, through their own sufferings, to share in glory” – St. Pope John Paul II
My Lord Jesus Christ,
my true desire is to be with You at my ultimate destiny.
My prayers, my hopes,
are linked to the wonderful prospect of life everlasting
in Your glorious Presence.
Lord, fill me with hope and consolation,
so that, in Your Holy Name,
I will steadfastly withstand sacrifice and any trials which come my way,
and remain true to Your covenants.
For this I pray, in Your Holy Name. Amen