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How to Be Better Partakers of Christ’s Suffering

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Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. – 1 Peter 4:12-13

In the midst of life’s trials and tribulations, the concept of sharing in Christ’s sufferings might seem perplexing or challenging to understand. Yet, as the apostle Peter eloquently expressed, there’s a profound significance in embracing this notion. The call to be partakers of Christ’s suffering isn’t merely about enduring pain but encompasses a deeper spiritual connection and purpose.

Here are just a few ideas on how to approach and embody being better partakers of Christ’s suffering.

1. Understanding the Nature of Suffering

Suffering, in the context of the gospel of Jesus Christ, doesn’t just point to one thing. It encompasses various forms: physical pain, emotional distress, the consequences of sin, persecution, rejection, grief, and so much more.

Though we anticipate some forms of suffering, some struggle to align a loving God with the horrors of a fallen world. We also often hope our righteousness can save us from more severe suffering. Peter’s words make it clear—no matter our obedience, our circumstances, our how much God loves us, we can expect “fiery trials” to come upon us. 

His teachings serve as a reminder that trials and challenges are an integral part of our journey as disciples of Jesus Christ. Instead of being surprised or discouraged by them, believers are encouraged to face trials with a perspective of endurance, perseverance, and reliance on God’s guidance and provision.

The phrase “fiery trial” suggests a refining process. Like fire purifies gold by burning away impurities, trials have the potential to refine and strengthen believers’ faith. They test the genuineness of one’s faith and character, allowing for growth, maturity, and spiritual development. These trials aren’t meant to destroy but to purify and strengthen.

2. Embracing Righteousness and Virtue

To be partakers of Christ’s suffering involves embracing righteousness and virtue in the face of adversity. It means living out Christ-like values even when it’s uncomfortable or unpopular. This might involve standing up for justice, showing compassion, or forgiving despite personal pain.

Trials and challenges test our faith. Being a partaker of Christ’s suffering requires unwavering faith in God’s plan, even when circumstances seem dire. It’s during these moments that our faith is refined and strengthened, echoing Christ’s own endurance during His earthly trials.

Later, in 1 Peter 4:19, Peter says, “Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.”

While enduring suffering, we are encouraged to continue doing good deeds, living righteously, and following the teachings and commands of God.

3. Finding Joy in Unity with Christ

Followers of Christ are seen as sharing in His suffering. This doesn’t imply that we suffer to the same extent or in the same manner as Christ did, but rather that they experience suffering in a way that aligns with Christ’s experiences.

Ultimately, just as the Savior glorified His Father and redeemed all mankind through His suffering, we can glorify God and partake of Christ’s redemption as allow our suffering to bring us closer to Him. 

When Peter speaks of joy from suffering, he is speaking about how sharing in Christ’s sufferings can lead to a deeper spiritual connection with Him and ultimately to sharing in His glory when He returns.

Final Thoughts

Becoming better partakers of Christ’s suffering isn’t a simple task, nor is it an invitation to seek out pain. Instead, it’s an invitation to align our lives with Christ’s, to stand firm in faith, and to respond to suffering with the love and grace exemplified by Him. In doing so, we not only draw closer to Christ but also become bearers of His light in a world often marked by darkness.

May we find courage and strength in being partakers of Christ’s suffering, knowing that as we share in His trials, we also share in His ultimate victory and glory.

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Aleah Ingram
Aleah Ingram
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.

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