"Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy." 1 Peter 4:12-13
I often find it interesting how surprised we can be when hard times come upon us. We will even go so far as to fulfill scripture and act as though some strange thing has happened! Jesus repeatedly told his followers that there would be tests, trials and sufferings in this life. But we are also told that we CAN "rejoice.” Taking it a step further, we are told to rejoice to the same extent that we partake in suffering. Obviously, rejoicing during tests is not an easy thing but that being said, we should not let our trials define our level of joy. With faith in our Lord, joy is in fact possible in the fire. THAT, my friends, is what we WILL experience if we stay focused on our Lord during trying times and cease to allow ourselves to be taken aback by them.