What it Means to Suffer
2 Peter 2:20-24
Suffering is not a pleasant thing. It is a necessary evil in this world. While God is not the creator of evil, He is the redeemer of it. He can take any bad thing and use it for our good (Romans 8:28).
We often avoid suffering, who wants to hurt? But Jesus marched bravely to the cross so that we would not have to suffer. He did it because He loves us. Can we say the same for Him?
There are many teachings out there that claim that God doesn’t want us to feel any pain. While this may be true in theory, in a sin-drenched world, that is not a reality. Christ, though He suffered, left us a model to follow when suffering occurs; and it will occur. There are four elements to this model.
First, we should not be suffering because of our own sin (verse 20). If we are being punished because we are guilty, that is not suffering, it’s justice. The suffering that God sees as legitimate is the suffering that comes as a result of being His child.
Second, we are called to suffer using the model Christ gave us and we are to follow specific behavioral responses. Our behavior should exhibit Christ-like character. We should commit no sin, not be deceitful, not return evil for evil, or threaten (verse 21).
Third, what we should do is to entrust our situation and the care of it to a just and holy God (verses 22-23). He knows exactly what to do to mete out justice. Since we don’t have such knowledge, we need to trust Him.
Finally, He paid for our sin by dying so that we would die to sin and live righteously for Him; by His wounds we are healed. (verse 24) His death should settle any vengeance we would or could have with others. WE need to remember that.
When suffering comes, we need to be as calm as possible, and to reflect on this passage. WE need to realize that God has not left us as orphans; his very Spirit lives within us. He will protect us and he does love us. We need to reflect His image so the world can see a difference.
See Ya Next Time