I Peter 3:16-18
"Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. 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:”
Aristotle is known for saying, “There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.”
God calls us to be separated, but not to be isolated. He didn’t save us just to give us a home in Heaven. He has a purpose for each and every one of us to fulfill according to His perfect will for our lives. In striving to carry out that purpose and living for Him, we are going to face opposition. The Bible doesn’t tell us that it may happen or that there’s a chance that we’ll have to face difficulties. God’s Word tells us plainly in 2 Timothy 3:12, “Yea, and all that live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” I believe during his ministry the Apostle Paul faced some of the worst persecution ever recorded. He knew what it was like to be persecuted for Christ’s sake.
Simon Peter suffered through opposition as well. He brought some of it on himself, but can we not all relate with him? This man went so far as to tell Jesus that he would never be offended of him… and Jesus told him what would really happen. I imagine that hearing a rooster crow was never the same for Peter. I’m sure the devil even used some fellow townspeople to never let him forget what he did. But I also believe that the Lord Jesus forgot all about it. Peter went on to carry the Gospel to so many. What if he would have quit after he denied the Lord?
If you have been criticized, persecuted and/or opposed in your service for the Lord, you are not alone. Anyone who has ever tried to do something for Christ and the furtherance of the Gospel faces trouble on a routine basis. Sometimes even from fellow Christians. Even saved people can allow themselves to be used by the devil to discourage someone who is trying to do right and make a difference.
Take comfort today in remembering how Christ suffered for us, and that nothing we endure while serving Him is worth quitting over. He pressed on through the pain and agony because He had a purpose to fulfill. He made it possible for us to become His children because He loved us enough to die for us and suffer that punishment. “The just for the unjust.”
Press on through the pain, Christian.
Continue in your purpose, for great is our reward!
Genesis 41-42 | John 21 | Proverbs 21
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