1 Peter 2:21"For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:" NKJV
None of us likes to suffer. There is nothing pleasant about struggling with difficult people or dealing with persecution for your faith. Yet, the Christian is not one that can really be separated from suffering. In 1 Peter, the apostle calls believers to patiently endure harsh treatment from their authority. He was speaking to slaves about masters, but we would understand it better in terms of employee and employer.
Why would God call us to suffer under another person's authority? It could be for many reasons, but the main one is that our patient, loving endurance during those times can be used of God to bring that person to Christ. When we act in love despite being faced with hate, we declare to the world that we are different.
This causes people to consider the words we say and the message of hope we speak. In reality, our loving suffering may be the tool God uses to save a soul. That may be hard to imagine, but our God is no stranger to using difficulties to produce deliverance.
This is illustrated best in the life of Jesus. He suffered under the authority of man, even to death, and yet it was for our salvation. Now He calls us to endure so that others may see Christ in us.
Life Lesson: We should follow the steps of Jesus, being willing to suffer for the sake of others.
Dear God, I admit that I do not enjoy suffering, especially because of those around me, yet I ask that You would use my life in those situations to display Your love and grace. Give me the power through Your Holy Spirit to show love and not hate. Help me to be willing to endure rather than fight back. Thank You for the gift of everlasting life that was purchased on the cross. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Living to tell what He died to say, Pastor David McGee