Suffering For The Right Reason
“For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.” (1 Peter 3:17-22)
Today’s Morsel: What I have found when counseling with people is that most of them are suffering or going through things in their lives for the wrong reason. Many of them are suffering because they are trying to meet deadlines because they have procrastinated on their duties. They never get the oil changed in their car and now they have major maintenance issues which are costing them large sums of money. They are in jail because they were hanging out with the wrong crowd. They are in major debt because they did not learn to stop spending. Or they said something that they should not have said when it was none of their business to be involved. Peter said that it is better if we suffer for the right reason than the wrong reason. He states, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.” (1 Peter 4:12-16) The right reason to suffer is for Christ, not because you procrastinated and did not do what you were told, or you were a busybody in other men's matters. Only suffer for Christ. Any other reason to suffer is foolishness.
Sing: Amazing grace shall always be my song of praise, for it was grace that brought my liberty. I do not know, just why He came to love me so, He looked beyond my faults and saw my need.
I shall forever, lift my eyes to Calvary, to view the cross where Jesus died for me. How marvelous, the grace that caught my falling soul, He looked beyond my fault and saw my need.
Thought For Today: Only suffer for Christ. Any other reason is foolishness (Parker)