A Christian's Calling

  • Sept. 28, 2018
  • #9500

How are Christians to react to unjust suffering? When Jesus endured suffering for us, He set an example of how we are to respond during trials.

Hi, I’m Joni and I have a scripture lesson today that will amaze you.

It’s from 1 Peter Chapter 2, verses 20-24, and it’s important because it specifically describes your calling and mine as followers of Jesus. This is what it means to look and sound and act like Jesus, okay? Here’s what the Holy Spirit tells you and me to do if we want to be like Christ, if we want to fulfill our calling to glorify Him. First Peter Chapter 2 says, “It is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering… but 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.” The passage goes on to say: “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth. When they hurled insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sin and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.”

Now, there’s a lot in there, but basically it showcases how we are to respond to suffering – especially unjust suffering at the hands of those who would take advantage of us, or wrong us, offend or hurt us. Christ suffered for us in order to leave us an example that we should follow. The point of this passage is that when you do good, you’re going to suffer. When you do good, you will be criticized. When you do good, things will not necessarily get better. When you do good, someone will say hurtful things. When you do good, people will not even notice and there will be no appreciation. So there you have it according to 1 Peter Chapter 2; doing good, like working hard on a company report, or cooking an excellent meal for your family. You put a lot of good effort into these things, right, and people do not even notice. You could be sacrificing to help someone only to have your motives publicly called into question. You could open your door to an abused teenager, only to have that young person stab you in the back with lies and slander. Jesus did good also, and the exact same stuff happened to him. But again, he left us an example as to how to respond.

Look at 1 Peter Chapter 3. He says, “Finally, all of you, have a tender heart and a humble mind. Do not return evil for evil or reviling for reviling; but on the contrary bless, for to this you have been called” and you know what? This calling belongs not only to super saints, but to you, to every person who trusts Jesus Christ. John Piper puts it this way. He says, “When Christ suffered, more than any of us have ever suffered, he was standing in your place. He was bearing your sins so that your condemnation became his and he took it away from you. So, according to Hebrews Chapter 12, the sufferings of your life in Christ are NOT condemnation for sin, they are discipline for holiness. And that's why our sufferings come just as often from doing right as from doing what's wrong. It is not divine condemnation; it is a divine calling!” Wow!

Our calling is to not hurt back as a Christian. Only miraculous grace can enable us to do that. So find out more about your calling to respond graciously to suffering and not gratingly by visiting Joniradio.org and asking for my free booklet “When God Seems Unjust”. It’s filled with more insights on First Peter Chapter 3, and it’s there for you at Joniradio.org.

© Joni and Friends

 

 

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