In , we see Peter foresee a problem. He anticipates the question on what to do when Christians receive unjust treatment or suffering from others. But Peter then follows in that it is commendable to bear up under pain and suffering. It comes out of living in God’s truth, and knowing that we are doing what is right.
It does not mean that by doing the right thing, we will not see suffering or that things are as they ought to be. But that we are where we need to be. But if we allow peer pressure (whether from individuals or society) to take us away from our right standing with God, it causes two major issues. First it compromises our position. Secondly, it most likely will pressure others to follow your move. Each of us underestimates the influence we have (direct or indirect.)
But when you are in a right place with God, you will find that you are in a new position to converse and interact with those around you. When the pressure comes, you will be given a confidence that comes from the conviction that you will not give in. In the next Peter 2:20, Peter makes a distinction from enduring suffering in itself, and the purpose of suffering. If you did wrong, you cannot boast in enduring suffering. You got what you deserved, and it should be a reminder to not do wrong. But if you did right and received suffering, God commends you for standing for righteousness.
In we are provided the ultimate example of Jesus’ suffering in the midst of his right standing. Peter refers to several passages that points to the right standing that lead to suffering (and death.) Peter refers to describing Jesus as sinless. This is to remind us to strive to not sin.
In , Peter then tells us that Jesus did not retaliate. He did not react to their actions, he responded in righteousness. Instead of reacting to earthly punishment, he instead trusted God who judges justly. Because Jesus new that the suffering of the moment lead to the salvation of mankind as described in .
Imagine if Jesus instead retaliate. Imagine the loss of the future blessings, grace, and mercy. Sometimes we are unaware of those impacted by those who witness our suffering while standing in righteousness. That just like we were lost and then found.
Can we be reminded that we are God’s in the midst of suffering? How will your obedience impact those around you? How does our disobedience effect those around us?
18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. (ESV)
19 For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. (ESV)
2:1 So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. (ESV)
21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. (ESV)
9 And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth. (ESV)
23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. (ESV)
24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. (ESV)
25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. (ESV)