Reading: 1 Peter 2: 19-25
Verse 21: Christ himself suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps.
In 1st Peter, suffering is a common theme. Perhaps this is because the faithful of Peter’s day did suffer for their faith. Just as Jesus had suffered at the hands of the Jews and Romans, many of His followers also faced trial and persecution and even death. Many of the more prominent witnesses gladly suffered for their faith and found joy in being like Jesus in their suffering. Oddly, most of us Christians today avoid suffering of all kinds.
Peter’s response to suffering and his call to the early church and to us today is this: call upon the power of Christ to transcend our times of suffering. Today, at times our faith will have a ‘cost’ be it time or money or some other resource. To give up something or to sacrifice in one of these areas may hurt a little, but it is a far cry from Peter’s day. Our suffering tends to be temporary and non-life-threatening. Yet even in the midst of small trials we are to call upon the only one who can walk with us through the storms of life. Even if it was just a bad day at work, Jesus still desires to be present and to bring us peace or comfort or contentment or whatever we need.
When we call on Jesus regularly in the small, day to day, events of life, then we get to know Him. Jesus becomes a regular companion to us in all times of life. It is through a consistent and daily walk with Christ that we come to truly know and trust His presence, strength, and love in all of our life. This is the model Jesus set for us to follow. His relationship with God the Father was a daily, consistent connection. God was Jesus’ strength in the trial. Always. Peter wrote, “Christ himself suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps.” When Jesus is our foundation rock in this sense, nothing life can bring will shake our faith. His love will transcend all of our fears, doubts, and anxieties – no matter how big or small. This becomes how we journey through life. In the this way we bear witness to the power of Jesus Christ in our lives and in the world. It is through our witness and example that we too bring God all the glory and praise.