“It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit . . .” (1 Peter 3:18-19)
The Apostle Peter didn’t work for Hallmark. These verses aren’t meant to be comforting, rhyming poetry decorated by soothing pastel colors. Peter is NOT saying, “Sorry you have to suffer, but at least it’s better to suffer for Jesus than for being an idiot.”
Suffering for Jesus — being persecuted for believing in and following Him — is not a consolation prize. It is one of the highest honors a Jesus-follower can experience, and not everyone will get the opportunity.
After all, Peter reminds us, Jesus died for us, “the unrighteous.” Just for the record, He died one time and paid for all of our sins in that moment. Nobody who suffers for Him pays for any sin, obviously, but we will be resurrected as He was. And there will be special rewards for those who suffer under persecution.
Think: Do you ever think of suffering for Jesus as an honor? Do you know anyone who has been persecuted for believing in Jesus?
Pray: Ask God to provide courage and comfort for Christians under persecution around the world today.
Do: Check out persecution.net.Tweet