Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. Awareness and proper perspective can make all the difference in the way one lives through suffering. Peter, gentle with his words, lets his readers know that committing to a faithful Creator and continuing to do good is the direction to go for those who seek to follow Christ. One day the glory of Jesus will be made known to all.
When Russell teaches CrownHeartWorld, the whole biblical Story using three symbols in five columns, I love applying verses like this one from Peter. They fill in more details to our final hope. Column five show what is yet to come, when we will see God for who He is and all things will be restored. When we are complete, face-to-Face with our Creator and Redeemer, our hearts will never flip over into selfishness again. For now, though, those of us who have placed our faith in Jesus are still living in column four. In column four, we advance toward transformation and there is testing and suffering and the hurts of a world that is broken. But hold on to hope, there is over-rejoicing guaranteed in our future!