Sunday, May 1, 2011

Example for Suffering

It's that time again.  I've got a new verse to memorize.  Continuing on from last week we have Hebrews 12:3

"For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart" (NASB)

So, what do I take from this?  Jesus is our example for suffering.  So the question begs to be asked: what kind of example did he set?  I've mentioned these verses before, but the answer can be found in 1 Peter 2:21-23

"21For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 22WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH; 23and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously" (NASB)

So, what does this mean?  First off, Jesus had no sin.  Now, we can't live lives without sin here on earth, but we strive to repent from sin and "it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong." (1 Peter 3:17 - NASB)  
Also, Christ did not revile or utter threats to those who were persecuting Him.  Not only this, but He prayed for those who were persecuting Him while on the cross.  We are to "love [our] enemies and pray for those who persecute [us]" (Matthew 5:44 - NASB)
Lastly, He entrusted Himself to God as the Righteous Judge.  We see this applying to ourselves later in 1 Peter 4 when it says "therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right."  We trust in God for our salvation, which is far greater than the suffering we'll experience here on earth.

Because Christ suffered, we should take encouragement from that.  Christ knows what you're going through because He's been there and then some.  We will all suffer, but how do you react to it?  We all like talking to others who have gone through the same thing we have.  It feels good to not be alone.  How much better should we feel telling our worries to the Creator who has suffered and made it through.  It's a good reminder for me when things aren't going as well as I would like.  I hope it encourages you.

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