1 Peter 2:18-20
18 Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. 19 For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. 20 But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.

In this passage we learn that Christians who worked for, or were slaves under, idol worshipping masters, were not to follow their master’s idols. The Christians were not to take their form of worship. They were not to do either of these things, even if it meant harsh treatment from their masters. Vs. 20 lays it out clearly that it doesn’t pay to follow the wrong path even if it brings you some reprieve. However, the call is to actually suffer through the time of oppression, because in that there is blessing!

Many Christians want to write off suffering or somehow side step the reality that it actually happens. It’s not a popular topic. And honestly, I get it. It isn’t glamorous to watch someone you love suffer. It isn’t fun to go through a time of oppression in your life and keep in the forefront of your mind, “Hooray! I will be blessed in the end!”.

If you are anything like me your thoughts are, “How can this end and how quickly!” This message isn’t a popular one in today’s culture. In contrast we actually hear quite often, “Find what makes you happy and don’t let anything stop you until you have it!” We read and see it on social media: “You aren’t happy??? Well, you have the right to it! So, change whatever you have to, to make it a reality in your life! In fact, why would you stay in a place where you are unhappy?”

Peter is challenging us here. He is saying, “Do what it takes to remain in His truth.” You may read that and think, “Mandy, I have tried. I am worn out.” Let’s be clear, I am not talking about oppressive relationships, abuse,etc. I am talking about those of us who just want “out” of the hard in life because what we are experiencing is just, hard!

2 Corinthians 4:8:
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;

This passage states it so well: “hard pressed”. God allows us to be “hard pressed on EVERY side”. Is that where you are today? Are there areas of your life that are making you feel like you are in a vice? If you are here in this place I have a piece of hope for you.\

It says in vs.20, “But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.” If you are suffering for taking the high road, if you are suffering in illness, if you are suffering over finances, etc.— if you are in any place of suffering for doing good and you are enduring it, you will be commended before God.

Maybe you’ll see a blessing because you took the high road and kept your opinion to yourself. Or maybe, you’ll see a breakthrough in comfort in your illness or healing. Maybe you’ll see God working to provide in your life because even in financial struggle you’ve continued to honor him in your finances. I can’t tell you how He will show up. But, I know He will.

As we know, His timing isn’t ours. So, while it may not be today or tomorrow (in fact it could be in twenty years!) He will show up. He will commend you for seeking His kingdom and His righteousness and “all these things will be added unto you.”

Author: Mandy Dunn