Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. For
“Whoever desires to love life
and see good days,
let him keep his tongue from evil
and his lips from speaking deceit;
let him turn away from evil and do good;
let him seek peace and pursue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are open to their prayer.
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit. ~ 1 Peter 3:8-18
Suffering again. God’s Word says more about suffering—and our need to experience it—than we want to hear. Often unbelievers use the existence of suffering in the world as an argument against the existence or the power or the goodness of God. “If God exists, if He is sovereign, if He is good, He would not allow suffering,” they say. But God’s Word says the opposite. Not only should Christians expect suffering, but we should consider it a blessing!
Father God, it’s hard for me to consider suffering as a blessing. I want comfort and lack of pain. Instead, You tell me to suffer and to consider myself blessed. Thank You, Father, for the blessing of suffering. Let me experience it without complaint, indeed with thanksgiving, and let me learn from it what You want to teach me. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.