The Story: Jesus knew He had come to earth to suffer. Why complain about it? By His suffering He was fulfilling His calling from God. The Church, by suffering, fulfills her calling in this world as well. We must not rail back when railed against, or lash back with violence when others treat us violently. In the midst of our suffering we must trust ourselves to God, Who is sovereign and just, and Who does all things well. In Psalm 22, the stanzas of intense suffering are capped by a bold declaration of faith. In the midst of His suffering Jesus trusted – even thought He could have called on His Father to send legions of angels for His deliverance. In the midst of our suffering, praise and thanks, not railing and lashing out, are the proper way to respond. God knows how to care for His people who thus trust in Him.
The Structure: I hear believers whining from time to time that it’s “open season on Christians” on the part of the media and others. That’s news? We’ve been called to suffer. Why complain? We should rather revel in the fact that something about us – as long as it relates to our message or our upright morality – is rubbing the unbelieving world the wrong way. Maybe we’re getting it after all!
Where might you expect to encounter some opposition or suffering in your own daily walk with the Lord? Are you ready for this?
Each week’s studies in our Scriptorium column are available in a free PDF form, suitable for personal or group use. For this week’s study, “Lived Witness: 1 Peter 2.13-25,” simply click here.
T. M. Moore
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.