One of the last things you want to think about is suffering. The passage in 1 Peter 3 is filled with warnings and promises and hope. In some ways it’s frightening- hearing of what is to come for the Christian but the reminder that we are not alone gives us hope.
In our culture and the speed at which the world around us is changing, I find that this goes against the grain at every angle. As humans we don’t want to experience pain or suffering, we avoid it at all costs. When we experience suffering as Christians, we often wonder what we have done wrong or why God has let us down. Maybe we weren’t faithful enough. Maybe we didn’t pray enough. This is why this passage is so encouraging.
“13 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.”
It is encouraging to know that suffering is not a reflection of how good of a Christian we are. We will experience suffering for doing good, being ethical, telling the truth, being honest and standing up for truth. We will lose our jobs, be passed up for promotions, lose friends and lsdlkjflkjskldjlkj. But the silver lining is remembering the ultimate sacrifice. Our small sufferings that seem big at the time suddenly pale in comparison to Christ’s sacrifice. It actually hurts my heart to think that he had to suffer for me. He was pure, innocent, and blameless and yet chose to suffer.
“18 For Christ also suffered[a] once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit”
Lord, Jesus thank you for suffering for me. Your sacrifice on the cross, the shame you endured and the blood that you shed was the ultimate sacrifice. You are asking me to seek and pursue peace, to repay evil with good in every circumstance- help me Lord. When my reaction is in the flesh, give me strength to trust in you and bless and not curse. Thank you for hearing my prayer, “for your eyes are on the righteous, and your ears are open to our prayers.”