Monday 13 October, 2014

1 Peter 2:18-25

18 Slaves, obey your masters with all the respect you should give them. Obey not only those who are good and kind. Obey also those who are not kind. 19 Suppose a person suffers pain unfairly because he wants to obey God. That is worthy of praise. 20 But suppose you receive a beating for doing wrong, and you put up with it. Will anyone honor you for that? Of course not. But suppose you suffer for doing good, and you put up with it. God will praise you for that. 21 Christ suffered for you. He left you an example. He expects you to follow in his steps. You too were chosen to suffer. 22 Scripture says, “He didn’t commit any sin. No lies ever came out of his mouth.” (Isaiah 53:9) 23 People shouted at him and made fun of him. But he didn’t do the same back to them. He suffered. But he didn’t say that bad things would happen to them. Instead, he trusted in the One who judges fairly. 24 He himself carried our sins in his body on the cross. He did it so that we would die as far as sins are concerned. Then we would lead godly lives. His wounds have made you whole. 25 You were like sheep who were wandering away. But now you have returned to the Shepherd. He is the Leader of your souls.

From time to time we all experience some suffering due to our actions – for example, you exceed the speed limit in your car and you get a speeding fine. Somewhat painful but fair, right?

But what happens when you suffer in some way when you haven’t done anything to deserve it? How do I respond then? Complain, feel unjustly treated, question why…?

In these verses we are instructed to follow Jesus’s example to endure unjust suffering with patience. In fact, it even says that this is our calling as followers of Jesus to follow in His footsteps of suffering with grace. Jesus didn’t fight against His circumstances. He left it to God to bring it all around for good in the end.

When we suffer with grace and patience we are given the unique opportunity to experience something that Jesus experienced – unjust suffering. Jesus knows what this feels like and can offer us comfort. And through our suffering we also know, in part what Jesus felt like, and we can offer Him gratitude and praise.

Today I am humbled and thankful for what Jesus endured on my behalf.  May I continue to learn to view my own struggles and suffering as a way to grow in patience and grace. And may I learn to trust God that he will bring good out my trials and pain.

Written by Shelley Witt

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