May 8, 2017

1 Peter 20b, 21 if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

There is so much good about life that it is easy to forget that suffering and grief are part of the plan too, at least for now. All Peter is doing here is explaining further Jesus’ words that whoever would follow him would have to take up his cross. Explaining the nature and necessity of suffering is above my pay grade, so to speak, but we all know that suffering is a reality. The first of the four noble truths of Buddhism is that life is suffering. We all suffer to one degree or another. Peter here is simply stating that suffering as a result of living faithfully for Christ has meaning and includes us in the story of redemption as it is lived out around us. We might suffer for a lot of other reasons but suffering because we stand with God as we see him in Jesus is worth doing and finding something worth doing is what this life is all about, isn’t it? Suffering comes in all kinds of forms and all sorts of conditions. No one seems to escape it entirely- we all die; we all grieve. This week, how might God make your suffering worth something?

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