But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. (1 Pet. 4:13)

CHILDREN DON’T LIKE to do chores. In Disney’s 1964 classic movie, Mary Poppins, the children are spurred to tidy their rooms with the delightful tune “A Spoonful of Sugar.” Julie Andrews, as Mary Poppins, sings the youngsters through their cleaning duties, likening doing chores with an attitude of fun to taking medicine along with a dose of sugar.

In reality, doing chores is a lot harder without the help of a finger-snapping, magically gifted nanny, and the trials real-life children and adults face are more challenging and painful than picking up toys. However, the lesson of Mary Poppins applies. We are wise to find the good in, and make the most of, the difficult things we experience.

Peter spoke to Jewish Christians being tortured, killed, and driven from Jerusalem, reminding them that to suffer for Christ is honorable. The persecution they experienced for faithfulness, while painful, served to bring them closer to Christ and to heaven. Beyond simply making the most of what’s bad, Peter’s words encourage those suffering, in any time, to view trials for Christ’s sake as privileges.

Most of us will never experience the type of persecution believers in Peter’s time did, but we can count on this: If the trials of a Disney movie or our lives pale by comparison, so too does a spoonful of sugar fall short of the sweetness believers will in find in eternity with Him.

In living for Christ, view life’s heartaches in light of Peter’s writing and Mary’s song.

Hally Franz is a former high school guidance counselor turned stay-at-home mom. She enjoys being a 4-H leader, church secretary, book club member, and traveler.