Attitudes about suffering!
Scripture reading for November 25th: 1st Peter 3:8-4:11
Some people are falsely taught that Christianity is an escape to a life here of happiness and everlasting peace. Suffering is a part of life on earth and believers sometimes suffer because of Jesus. Jesus, Himself, suffered as a completely innocent man among people who were supposedly ‘God’s people’. Peter wrote to his Jewish friends who had become Christians to inform them about suffering and proper attitudes during these trials.
“Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you might inherit a blessing.” (1st Peter 3:8-9) Our attitude and conduct should be different from those people still in the world system. We must stay humble and consider others before ourselves. We, like Jesus, are called to be a blessing. We sow blessings because we have received the ultimate blessing of forgiveness and eternal life.
“Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,” (1st Peter 3:13-15) Christians should be positive people, always eager to do what is good and right in God’s sight. Most of the time, this will also bring favor with men. Our attitude should be motivated by Christ Jesus as Lord and our desire to please and obey His example. We live by faith and are not to be overcome with fear. If people see this positive hope in our attitudes, they will be curious and ask us why we are so upbeat. We should then be ready to share the Gospel.
“Therefore, since Christ suffered in His body, arm yourselves with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.” (1st Peter 4:1-2) Are you armed with the proper attitude to face life today?