We often say, “Life is full of surprises,” especially when facing an unexpected bad event. But the Apostle Peter says in 1 Peter 4:12, do “not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.”
We’re living in enemy territory. 1 Peter 5:8 warns, “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” So we shouldn’t be surprised when buffeted by his attack. We should expect it. That happens when you’re in a war. It’s not something strange in the war zone.
Rather than be surprised and bewildered we should rejoice as Peter says in chapter 4 verse 13. When you’re attacked because you’re living for Christ, that’s what Christ experienced and promised you’d experience. Peter says, these things happen “so that you may be overjoyed when Christ’s glory is revealed.”
The impact thought that developed in my mind as I reflected on this, was, “Recognize that suffering in a hostile environment is to be expected and you will not be surprised when it comes.” This will free you to make the most of the opportunities that arise in the daily flow of your life.
If you focus on the suffering or the one causing it you might lose sight of the opportunity in that trying circumstance. That’s why Jesus Christ was able to accomplish so much in such a short period of time while here on earth.
Suffering is often the springboard to success.