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Whether You Like It or Not

Over the course of my life, I worked a couple of jobs where the turnover rate was extremely high. Some people would last a month, others a week or so and the unhappy might walk out after a couple of hours. According to one of the disciples, suffering is what you should expect as follower of Jesus, Luke 10:1-11. Therefore, whether you like it or not, suffering is part of a typical Christian life.

For one is regarded favorably (is approved, acceptable, and thankworthy) if, as in the sight of God, he endures the pain of unjust suffering. 20 [After all] what [f]kind of glory [is there in it] if, when you do wrong and are punished for it, you take it patiently? But if you bear patiently with suffering [which results] when you do right and that is undeserved, it is acceptable and pleasing to God, 1 Peter 2:19-20.

According to one of Jesus’ disciples, the pain of unjust suffering is part of the faith journey. Perhaps, Peter is referencing the private conversation with disciples in John 15:18 where Jesus reveals the source of this suffering. Nobody enjoys being hated as human nature places a desire inside of individuals to be liked. In the passage above, Peter alludes to suffering as a badge of honor as long as you do what is right.

Withstand him; be firm in faith [against his onset—rooted, established, strong, immovable, and determined], knowing that the same ([g]identical) sufferings are appointed to your brotherhood (the whole body of Christians) throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace [Who imparts all blessing and favor], Who has called you to His [own] eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will Himself complete and make you what you ought to be, establish and ground you securely, and strengthen, and settle you, 1 Peter 5:9-10.

At the end of his letter to first century Christians, Peter brings back the topic of suffering. As if to suggest, “whether you like it or not,” suffering is part of the body of Christ. Prior to saying the world hated Him first, Jesus reminds the disciples of their call to love one another. Whenever anyone repays evil with good, it’s shocking. When a Christian embraces suffering for their faith, they will be able to fulfill the words of Solomon in Proverbs 25:21-22. This is your calling whether you like it or not.

by Jay Mankus

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