In 1 Peter 4 Peter continues to talk about suffering. He says that suffering for the follower of Jesus should not be considered “strange”. Read with me what he writes: 12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. Isn’t it interesting that Peter, one of the disciples of Jesus, didn’t consider it strange that Jesus followers should suffer? I suppose that suffering is pretty much all that Peter knew as it relates to following Jesus. Should we expect it to be much different? Is a life without suffering for Jesus indicative of a life without much service for Jesus? I would not attempt to prescribe any particular level of suffering as “mandatory” for a Christian. Also, there are many different ways to suffer. But we certainly shouldn’t expect that suffering should not come our way. We should expect to suffer and to suffer often. Also note the relationship between suffering and glory. Peter writes that when Christ’s glory is revealed, we also will be glad with exceeding joy. The suffering we might endure now does not compare with the glory we shall see later.
I doubt that I like to suffer any more than anyone else reading this. I admit that suffering is never on my “to do” list. But each of us needs to recognize that suffering is supposed to be normal for Jesus followers, definitely not strange.