There is a camaraderie experienced when people suffer together, even for a short time. It seems the more people suffer together, the closer they become and the more thankful they are for their friendship.
What will we discuss throughout eternity? Business deals? Fun we had? Stuff we owned? Or sacrifices we made for our Savior?
If we are on the same team as our suffering Savior, then perhaps we should not expect to be popular when He was not. The reason for rejoicing now is twofold: first, because we share a similar experience with Jesus, and second, because something special awaits the unashamed believer in the day of His return.
Paul wrote to the Romans, “We are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—-if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we many also be glorified with Him” (Rom 8:16–-17). If we identify with Christ in His reproach of this world, then it shows our identification with Him and demonstrates that our faith is genuine. The depth of our joy in Christ’s return or in meeting Him in glory is directly proportional to our disposition to suffer with Christ now.
This is not a reference to suffering from sickness, mistakes, accidents, or foolish decisions that have nothing to do with the ministry or identifying with Christ in the public marketplace.
The next verse specifies the issue: “If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you” (1 Pet 4:14). This could refer to being verbally abused, reviled, ridiculed, or slandered. Peter could not forget the words of Jesus: “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me” (Matt 5:11NIV).
A special grace comes on a person under this kind of attack that fortifies his or her inner self to remain true to Christ with a special bond to Him. It is a deep joy to know the Lord observes our bitter experiences and is with us, sharing in our hurt. Furthermore, He will make it more than worthwhile in His glory. Be encouraged today to be unashamed of belonging to Jesus.
“Today may I experience the camaraderie of the ranks of the unashamed and bold who wear the banner of Christ across their chests with pride.”