Dear friends, don’t be surprised about the fiery trials that have come among you to test you. These are not strange happenings. Instead, rejoice as you share Christ’s suffering. You share his suffering now so that you may also have overwhelming joy when his glory is revealed. If you are mocked because of Christ’s name, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory—indeed, the Spirit of God—rests on you. Now none of you should suffer as a murderer or thief or evildoer or rebel. But don’t be ashamed if you suffer as one who belongs to Christ. Rather, honor God as you bear Christ’s name. Give honor to God, because it’s time for judgment to begin with God’s own household. But if judgment starts with us, what will happen to those who refuse to believe God’s good news? If the righteous are barely rescued, what will happen to the godless and sinful? So then, those who suffer because they follow God’s will should commit their lives to a trustworthy creator by doing what is right. (1 Peter 4:12-19, CEB)
As I read this I heard Private Gomer Pyle say, “Surprise, surprise, surprise.” As he was adept to say when something happened that wasn’t a surprise. We should not be surprised when we go through hard times as that is life and following Christ did not make it so hard times go away. In fact, we could go through some hard times because we actually follow Christ when the world around us doesn’t want to be what God has called us to be because it means giving up privilege or securities.
So don’t be surprised, but stand tall and keep moving forward.
Loving People. Loving God.