Remaining faithful in times of testing
Household slaves, submit to your masters with all reverence not only to the good and gentle ones but also to the cruel. 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. 1 Peter 2:18-20 CSB
Peter, from the text, continues on this call to do good works even in the midst of trial and in the day to day of life. As a reminder, during this time in the first century Roman empire, sixty million people were servants/slaves. In this verse, slave here refers to those who worked in high-positions within the household, those who were given great responsibility. Some worked as doctors, cooks, teachers, musicians and other professions. Peter says for them to “submit to your masters with all reverence,” meaning that they are called to be respectful. This was spoken about in previous verse: “Submit to every human authority because of the Lord” (1 Peter 2:13). As 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.” Believers are called to be respectful to their employers out of their submission to the Lord, even if their earthly bosses may not be so kind, as Peter writes in verse 18 “but also to the cruel.” Peter then expands this attitude of submission as a testimony to the Lord Jesus Christ to all situations even when believers are suffering injustices. How do we then endure this suffering for doing good? Peter says, “Because of a consciousness of God, someone endures grief from suffering unjustly” (1 Peter 2:19). When going through suffering and the pain that comes with it because you are doing good, keep on looking to God. All the more we need to be aware of the Lord during those times, trusting Him that He is present and depending on His strength to overcome such trials and tribulations. As my favorite verse says in Psalm 73:26, “My flesh (physical well-being) and my heart (spiritual and emotional well-being) may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion (my infinite source of joy and fulfillment) forever.” And in the end of all things, we know that God’s justice is perfect and will be done. So in the meantime, may we have the perseverance to endure the trials of this life and live worthy of His calling in whatever area we are placed, so that our lives may reflect Christ and be a testimony to those around us, especially those who may treat us unfairly, that they too may come to be transformed by Jesus Christ our Savior and experience hope and salvation.
Isaac De Guzman