Persecution & Suffering: 42

1 Peter 2:19-23 says, “For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly.  For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously.”

Twice in this passage we are told that we find favor with God if we suffer unjustly and we patiently endure it. If we do not patiently endure it, presumably there is no benefit. Peter points to Jesus as our example in this. He didn’t complain or threaten or retaliate. Instead He entrusted Himself to God, knowing that in the end, the Father would make everything right.

Enduring unjust suffering, then, is an opportunity to demonstrate Christ-likeness and to please God. This is truly good news. This is yet another example of how short-term difficulty results in long-term blessing. This is the sort of situation that is indeed a cause for rejoicing.

Finally, note that this kind of suffering is essential for us to fulfill our calling. In fact, Peter tells us this is central to our calling, it was for this very purpose, that we would follow Christ’s example in how to suffer well.