Thought for the Day #244
1 Peter 2:19-23 New American Standard Bible
19For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly.
20For 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.
21For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps,
22who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth;
23and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously;
There is a great difference between suffering because we have committed some injustice or sin toward another, and being unjustly attacked without cause.
Perhaps we don't like to admit it, but, sometimes we bring retribution upon ourselves as a result of our own misdeeds. We have no right to feel persecuted in these situations. There is no reward for us when we justly deserve the consequences of our sin.
Sometimes we are persecuted and maligned, because we serve our Lord and our Redeemer. We actually enter into the sufferings of Christ, and identify with him when we are accused unjustly.
This is a noble thing. We should not feel hurt or unfairly treated. Malice or retribution should never be extended to those who have misused us. Rather, we should rejoice to be counted worthy to suffer with our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Scripture says we participate in his sufferings when we are attacked because of our identity with him. Though difficult to bear, these things bond us with the Lord in a very special way. He strengthens us in our spiritual life.
We become an example of Christ when we are reviled for walking righteously in the truth of the Word, and the power of his Spirit. Rejoice in such situations for you are an illustration of the righteousness of Jesus living within you. His grace will sustain you.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, sometimes I grumble and complain when people misuse me. I never realized that such occasions can be a witness of your righteousness within me. Forgive me for complaining. Let your Holy Spirit reminds me to rejoice in the difficult place. I want to be a good witness for Jesus. I pray in the name of my Lord in Redeemer Jesus in Christ. Amen.