Suffering is a word we all try to stay away from. Just pronouncing the word makes my insides shutter…suffering literally means to go through anguish for a long period of time without any stop. I have suffered from many things: depression, my medical condition, losing friendships. Lately, I have been suffering from myself. What do I mean by that? I have been fighting a battle between on how I should express my feelings, and choosing to have a Godly mindset. It’s been a struggle to put away my “needy” emotions, especially at my job or any public place.
I am a defensive person. When I am accused of something I know I did not commit, my tensions flare and my first initial reaction is to fight back, verbal tense. I feel all good inside knowing I got my way and that I was able to put down the person who did me wrong. Last night, God convicted me of this kind of behavior. God looked at my actions with disappointment. Man…I do not know about you, but having God disappointed in me, stings more than any sharp needle in the world.
I read out of 1 Peter and this verse is what brought down my pride 100%: “Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you.” 1 Peter 2:20 NLT
I am just going to be honest here, when I first read this verse, it confused me. God wants me to be patient when I am suffering? How in the world am I supposed to do that? It’s not fair! How can I just stand by and let someone walk all over me when I know I am right?!
Well…Jesus did it. Remember? When Jesus let Judas grab the guards and priests to arrest Him. When Jesus stood in front of that crowd and Pilate withdrew a murderer back into civilization, as Jesus was being taunted and the crowd yelled, “Crucify Him!” When Jesus was hanging on the cross, and the Roman Guards still needed to make hateful remarks towards Him, as he was bleeding and broken. Jesus endured and remained patient.
“Unjust suffering is precious to God because that is how Christ suffered, and when believers endure unjust treatment with patience and tolerance, they are sharing in his suffering. No one in the flesh wants to suffer unjustly. But when they desire to follow in the steps of Christ and find favor with God, they can endure and discover in the process a closer relationship to our Savior.” (Holy Bible Devotion)
I love this verse now because it gives me hope. Whenever I am in a tough situation, and it takes all of my energy to bite my tongue and not react angrily, I will remember Jesus every time. His perfect character, is within us, thanks to His Holy Spirit. We never have to face hardships or suffering alone. Every day we will be nailed to our crosses, but we have the power and mindset to endure and win every time, just as Jesus did.
“For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.” 1 Peter 2:21 NLT