Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalm 129:1-8 | Ezekiel 47:1 – 48:35 | 1 Peter 2:11-3:17 | Proverbs 28:12-13
Today’s Scripture Focus: 1 Peter 2:11 – 3:17
“But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example so that you may follow in his steps” (1 Peter 2:20-21 ESV).
Life isn’t always fair and it isn’t always easy. Suffering and persecution were an everyday reality for the readers of Peter’s letter. They are a reality for many believers, even today. While the injustices and sufferings we face may pale in comparison with those suffered by Peter’s original readers, we all know the sting of injustice and suffering. But unjust suffering is no excuse for taking revenge, retaliation or cursing our persecutors. It is an opportunity to be a testimony to others of the life of Christ within us.
Jesus, in dealing with the unjust suffering of the cross, set the example for us: “He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly” (23).
As we follow in Christ’s steps, we too can expect suffering (“to this you have been called”). As he was treated unfairly, so we can expect to be treated unfairly. How do we handle it? By drawing from the life we have in Christ. Jesus set the example and they key to getting through these times with our faith and testimony intact is his indwelling power and presence. Leaving the matter in God’s hands to judge justly is another key. He will take care of the injustice–that is his job, not mine.
Life may be difficult; it may be unfair. This should not surprise us. These are opportunities to grow in our faith and opportunities to be a testimony to the world around us. As they see our Christ-like attitudes in the most difficult of situations, lives are touched by the power of the gospel.
Jesus, thank you for enduring the suffering of the cross. Thank you for showing us how to persevere through the most difficult of times. Help and strengthen me to be faithful through it all as I follow in your steps. Amen.