Rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ. 1 Peter 4:13 (NIV)
Our expectations of life in this world should be shaped not just by the reality of this fallen world, but by the fact that we have chosen to follow a crucified savior.
If you follow a big celebrity, you might expect to share in some of their glamour. If you follow a great general, you might expect to share, in some way, in his victories.
But what can you expect if you choose to follow a man who was crucified? Well, Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first” (John 15:18).
Your experience reflects what you are invested in. If you are in business and it is a tough time for business, it will be a tough time for you. If you are in stocks, then what happens to those stocks happens to you. If you are in bonds, then what happens to those bonds happens to you.
One of the most common descriptions of a Christian is that we are “in Christ.” If you are in Christ then it would be reasonable to expect that what happened to Christ will happen to you, and that you will have a share in his experience.
On a scale of 1 (not at all) to 10 (completely), how much would you say your expectations of life in this world are being shaped by who you follow?