Suffering wrongfully is difficult to take because it goes against our natural inclinations. Recently my eyes focused like a laser beam on the words of 1 Peter 2:19, "For this is commendable, if …
Suffering wrongfully is difficult to take because it goes against our natural inclinations. Recently my eyes focused like a laser beam on the words of 1 Peter 2:19, "For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully."
Suffering wrongfully the right way requires three things.
First, we must exhibit grace particularly. Peter writes, "For this is commendable. . ." (1 Peter 2:19a). Dr. Roger M. Raymer explains, "Peter set forth a principle here that may be applied to any situation where unjust suffering occurs. The commendable (lit., 'for this is grace') motivation for patiently bearing up under... unjust suffering is a believer's conscious awareness of God's presence. No credit accrues for enduring punishment for doing wrong. It is respectful submission to undeserved suffering that finds favor with God because such behavior demonstrates His grace."
Second, we must embrace growth passionately. Peter writes, ". . . if because of conscience toward God. . ." (1 Peter 2:19b). This speaks of the conscious awareness of God's presence. It is to be conscious of doing His will. Dr. Ed Hindson explains, "Every time we exercise more faith in Him, we are actually growing spiritually. Thereby, our 'problems' become opportunities for spiritual development." Those with a biblical worldview will be out of step and out of sync with those who have an unbiblical worldview. Paul warns, "Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution" (2 Timothy 3:12).
Third, we must endure grief patiently. Peter writes, ". . . one endures grief, suffering wrongfully" (1 Peter 2:19c). This is not the grief we encounter for distrust and disobedience; it is the grief we endure for walking by faith. Peter explains, "For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God" (1 Peter 2:20). Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe writes, "Sometimes a Christian employee may be wronged by an unbelieving coworker or supervisor. For conscience' sake, he must 'take it' even though he is not in the wrong. A Christian's relationship to God is far more important than his relationship to men."
Peter writes, "For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: 'Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth'; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls" (1 Peter 2:21-25). Jesus Christ is the greatest example of one suffering wrongfully the right way.
Dr. Franklin L. Kirksey, of Robertsdale is the author of "Don't Miss the Revival! Messages for Revival and Spiritual Awakening from Isaiah." Email him at email@example.com