‘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. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy [are ye]; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you . . . ‘ (1 Peter 4:13-14)

Ok, I’ll be the first to admit, when I’ve read this I’ve thought: ‘he’s crazy’. I’m definitely not yet at the place where Peter was when he wrote this. It makes no sense to my carnal mind.

But I believe the Lord has given me insight into this passage.

We best know the ‘peace of God which passeth all understanding’ when we are in the midst of trials and tribulations, don’t we? That peace is part of the strength and comfort He gives us. (And let us never forget that the Holy Spirit is called ‘The Comforter’–and He is well able to comfort us, no matter WHAT we may be going through.)

Likewise, I believe that when we ‘partake of Christ’s sufferings’, the Holy Spirit will pour upon us even more abundant comfort and strength, and that the peace of God will overflow within us until we are full of the JOY of the Lord!

This happiness, gladness, and joy that Peter speaks of is clearly not a reaction of our flesh to persecution and suffering. It HAS to be the provision of God as we walk in the Spirit. Whatever we have need of friends, His grace is sufficient to provide it for us.

‘ . . . for the joy of the LORD is your strength.’ (Nehemiah 8:10)