Christ-Centered Suffering

1 Peter 3:18-22

Beloved:
Christ suffered for sins once,
the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous,
that he might lead you to God.
Put to death in the flesh,
he was brought to life in the Spirit.
In it he also went to preach to the spirits in prison,
who had once been disobedient
while God patiently waited in the days of Noah
during the building of the ark,
in which a few persons, eight in all,
were saved through water.
This prefigured baptism, which saves you now.
It is not a removal of dirt from the body
but an appeal to God for a clear conscience,
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
who has gone into heaven
and is at the right hand of God,
with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him.

Fit in Your Faith Today: Focus on the words in bold and let them assure you of Christ’s love for you. Although we are unrighteous, we are saved through our baptism and the fact that Christ died for our sins. Our lives on earth are not easy; we suffer, we sin, we seek repentance and we ask for forgiveness constantly. It’s a process, but as long as we believe and worship our Savior, we can be assured our suffering is only temporary.

Show the Goodness of God to Others

1 Peter 2:9

But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

From New Life Study Bible: Christians sometimes speak of “the priesthood of all believers.” In Old Testament times, people did not approach God directly. A priest acted as intermediary between God and sinful human beings. With Christ’s victory on the cross, that pattern changed. Now we can come directly into God’s presence without fear and we are given the responsibility of bringing others to him also. When we are united with Christ as members of his body, we join his priestly work of reconciling God and people.

Something not to be overlooked in this passage is our duty: show the goodness of God to others.

As people believed to be created by God, God’s own creation, how well do we show this to others? If we imagine as envision ourselves as God’s very own possession as this scripture says, then our actions and thoughts and decisions need to reflect that.

This can be very challenging to do. It’s not easy to be a Christian. It’s even more difficult when you want to show your goodness to others. You may be met with adversity, rejection, or conflict. Many people don’t want to hear about our goodness. And they might not want to hear about our godliness. But that’s not a problem. Persevere in your goodness. Shine your light into the darkness of those who don’t know God. Because that’s what God wants us to do.

Fit in your Faith Today: Do you find that you show others your goodness, especially during dark times? Do you find it difficult to be a Christian sometimes? Persevere in your faith knowing that you are God’s own creation and your light shines no matter how dim the situation might be.