“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you.”
do not think it strange
Suffering should not take Christians by surprise. Some think it is unusual that Christians suffer. We should expect adversity. Those who do not anticipate problems are more vulnerable to problems. No Christian should be surprised by the hostile attitude of the world toward either the Christian or Christianity.
Jesus endured rejection and persecution. Why should Christians be any different than their Lord? This is why we can refer to Christian suffering as “Christ’s sufferings.” We suffer the same nature of suffering as he suffered.
We can render this phrase as “Stop thinking it a thing alien” to you. “Stop being shocked by the maximum pressure coming to you.” The Asia Minor Christians thought because they were Christians, they were immune from suffering. They thought suffering was foreign to Christian living, while God thinks it is innate to the Christian life. Suffering is not foreign but part and parcel of living before God. Christians should expect to suffer.
Suffering or persecution should shock no Christian. Any disaster or catastrophe that comes our way comes by way of the plan of God. Why should a Christian be shocked or surprised when problems come to him? God does not design a trial to ruin us but to test our capacity of soul.
God expects us to suffer as a Christian under an eternal plan.
A Christian thinks differently than those without Christ. He has an orientation to the eternal plan of God. That plan includes God’s providential care for him or her. Nothing happens to us without going through God’s filter system.
Even Jesus was “perfected” through suffering (He 2:10; 5:8,9). He needed adversity to mature his faith in his humanity. If Jesus needed suffering to advance his faith, how much more do we need it? Jesus was not imperfect in the sense of sin. He was imperfect in the sense of development. If the sinless human Jesus needed development, we certainly need spiritual growth with all our sins.