When Jesus told Peter how he was going to suffer and die, He then said to him, “Follow Me!” Peter, turning and seeing John, wanted to know what was going to happen to him. Jesus replied, “ ‘If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!’ ” (John 21:22).
Peter would eventually be crucified—tradition has it that he was crucified upside-down. What Peter never knew until he reached heaven was that (according to tradition) John would be immersed in a cauldron of hot boiling oil and exiled to the isle of Patmos. John was no more blessed by our Lord than Peter. Each of their trials was used to make each more like Jesus and to serve God’s Kingdom purposes.
Therefore, my friend, when disappointments come your way, do not run away and do not be envious of others who seem more blessed of God because they are not enduring what you are experiencing. And don’t make the mistake in the midst of your trial of not recognizing the goodness of God in allowing the trial. Count it all joy.
To count it all joy is to look down the long road beyond the trial to the end result—which is you, perfect and entire, lacking nothing. Only two things will matter when you see your Lord: how Christlike you have become and the quality of your work for Him (1 Corinthians 3:13).
Remember what you read in 1 Peter 1:6-7? Have you memorized it yet? It’s a good passage to have stored in your heart. I am convinced that the minute we start rejoicing (out of obedience, not feeling), we are on the way to victory—we’re holding our line of defense.
This blog post is excerpted from the out-of-print 30-day devotional “How to Stand Firm Against the Five Deadly D’s” by Kay Arthur.