When you suffer for doing good

For it brings favor if, because of a consciousness of God, someone endures grief from suffering unjustly. For what credit is there if when you do wrong and are beaten, you endure it? But when you do what is good and suffer, if you endure it, this brings favor with God. For you were called to this, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. He did not commit sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth; when he was insulted, he did not insult in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten but entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree; so that, having died to sins, we might live for righteousness. 1 Peter 2:19-24

As you serve others whether in ministry, in your family, or at work you will give, forgive, forget, release your own will, obey God to the maximum, and demonstrate an attitude of gentleness and humility. And after all those beautiful things, occasionally you will get tattered and taken advantage of. Knowing all this ahead of time will help you prepare for such eventualities and remain faithful in serving others. This is what Peter was emphasizing from the text. The Bible doesn't hide this painful reality from us. "For it brings favor if, because of a consciousness of God, someone endures grief from suffering unjustly. For what credit is there if when you do wrong and are beaten, you endure it? But when you do what is good and suffer, if you endure it, this brings favor with God” (vv. 18-19). Peter was not commending suffering that enters our lives because we sin or we did something wrong. He described a situation in which the believer does everything by the book but still suffers negative consequences and reactions. Yet, despite of doing good, the follower of Christ is still willing to bear up under the pain or is able to endure it. How is that possible? In verse 19, it is “…because of the consciousness of God.” Merely enduring unjust suffering and the accompanying pain is not what is pleasing to God. What pleases God is being mindful of Him, cultivating a trusting awareness of God’s presence and of his never-failing care while we endure pain. When we are conscious of the presence of God in our lives, God gives us the necessary strength to bear the pain, and He extends His grace and mercy to enable us to respond positively as we continue to trust Him. Then Peter cited the example of Christ; “Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his steps. He did not commit sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth; when he was insulted, he did not insult in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten but entrusted himself to the one who judges justly” vv. 21-23. One thing is certain: if people treated a perfect individual, the Lord Jesus Christ that way, then imperfect people cannot expect to escape mistreatment. Anticipate and be prepared; if mistreatment hasn't happened to you yet, it will.

Blessings,

Noel De Guzman

www.my-wbc.com

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