1 PETER 2:21-25 – For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
THEME OF THE DAY. AS WENT JESUS SO GO WE. It is going to happen. We don’t like it. We are tempted to rebel against it. We long for a different path when it comes to following Jesus, but there isn’t one. He said to us, “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household” (Matthew 10:24-25). It is painfully true; as goes the Master so go His followers. And it is also equally true that there is no other way. The path of discipleship is the way of the cross. Someone has rightly said, “One word defines the Christian life – crucified.
In today’s scripture, there are at least three things about following the Suffering Savior as His suffering people that will help us persevere when the pain is severe. First, accept it must be this way – For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in His steps. God has no children who are not refined in His fiery furnaces of suffering, pain, and affliction. There are no followers of Christ who journey to heaven on a path free from pain, sorrow, and tears. As went our Master so go we. A Christian life of ease, comfort, and convenience is not true Christianity. It is a damnable lie running epidemic-like in the American church.
Another truth to encourage us in the call to suffer for Christ is Jesus endured far more than we ever will – He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. When in a season of severe suffering, pain and trial, tempted to scream with complaints such as, “This isn’t fair. I don’t deserve this. I have had enough”, stop, look at Christ on the cross and repent from such selfish attitudes. What wasn’t fair and what wasn’t deserved is the Lord Jesus hanging on that cross for you and me. Let what He endured silence our complaints.
Finally, when suffering is long and hard, cling to Him who has brought us to Himself – For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. Friends, suffer we will, but it will not be alone. Our Suffering Savior will be our close companion in our suffering. Rest in His promises and Presence. He has said, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” and that includes every painful step on our journey to heaven. And remember, the path Jesus took is the path we must take. There is no other way of discipleship.
PRAYER: “Father, help me see as Your Son lived the life of the Suffering Servant so must I as His suffering servant.”
QUOTE: “Christ went to the cross for us so we would go through life carrying a cross for Him. It is called ‘discipleship’.”