April 30

1 Peter 2:19-21

“For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps.” vs. 21

The people to whom Peter was writing had a few big faith questions, and the big one is obvious: Since they were living lives pleasing to God, why in the world were they suffering? It’s a question we’re still living with some 2000 years later. When a disease sweeps through a community why is it likely to strike the righteous along with sinners? Our experience seems to indicate that there is no obvious advantage to being a person of faith…and Peter recognizes that. But he says that the suffering goes with the call–because Christ suffered, we should expect to do the same, and further, to count it a blessing when suffering comes! Provided of course, that we suffer for doing good, and not as a consequence of doing bad things! Naturally, knowing this provides little consolation when we are actually going through the suffering. Most all of us prefer living without pain and conflict in our lives, and we certainly don’t seek it out. But there can be value in suffering! At the very least it makes the good days that much sweeter. It’s doubtful that we can truly understand joy unless we’ve spent some long moments enduring its opposite. The old adage, “Grin and bear it,” may very well contain elements of truth. For in Christ, having endured, we will know unlimited joy!

Thought for the Day: When have I had to grin and bear it?

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