14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And,
“If it is hard for the righteous to be saved,
what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”
19 So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.
1 Peter 4:14-19
The natural man looks at suffering as a negative. Practically speaking, we suffer in a lot of things for the greater good. For instance, nobody likes running long distances, but the greater good will a fit body. Nobody likes eating less food, but again, the less you eat, the less weight you have to lose – if that is your goal. The suffering in those two instances is understandable and warranted.
Suffering for being a believer is harder to digest or understand because it’s something we believe and can’t change. Dieting and exercise we can change and see the difference, but beliefs are just that, beliefs.
Still, God has made provision for us to endure this suffering – grace. It’s hard to fathom when you’re not under the gun so to speak, but He will certainly bring it to mind when it happens.