Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Our epistle reading for this week is from 1 Peter 2:19-25. Christians often endure hardship. That’s no surprise. All kinds of people in this world will suffer. It’s one of the natural outcomes of a world in which there is sin. owever, Peter distinguishes between two types of suffering. On the one hand, there are times when we do something wrong and we suffer for it. Peter’s response to that situation is that it serves us right. We had suffering coming to us. Our wrongdoing can reap its normal consequence.
What about when we didn’t do anything wrong and we suffer anyway? While some Christian groups would encourage us to continue to pray so that God will reveal our wrongdoing, most Christians recognize that we are not living in a world which has corresponding reward and punishment. We may suffer despite doing nothing wrong. We do not need to be morbidly introspective. Rather, we ask the Lord to show us if he is calling us to repentance. If he doesn’t reveal anything to us through careful consideration of His Word, we realize that we are living in a sin-cursed world. It includes suffering.
Peter then points us to the way Jesus endured suffering on our behalf. Though he had no sin, he didn’t complain or try to escape. He endured, patiently, knowing tht in the last day all would be put to rights. This is an important instruction to the Christian. When we are suffering, we are to seek to be like Jesus. As we are conformed to his image during times of hardship we find it easier to rejoice in his presence during times of comfort. Jesus himself calls us together in him, a place of perfect safety.
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