“17 For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.” NIV
As we have seen, Peter is writing in this section about ‘the good life.’
It seems that living such a life will give us opportunities to speak about our Christian faith (15).
That said, we should not expect to be universally popular (16). There will be opponents. Peter knows that this is counter-intuitive (13), but it happens (14). The persecution of unbelievers is an unpleasant reality of life in this world. We have to face up to it.
Peter’s conclusion is this:
‘’It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil’’ (17).
Then he shows that Jesus is the supreme example of unjust suffering (18). He did not deserve to die. But I feel the implicit encouragement in this text is that Jesus’ suffering was not wasted. It was productive: ‘’to bring you to God.’’ I think we are meant to infer that if we also have to suffer because it is ‘’God’s will’’, what we go through will not be wasted, however senseless it may seem.
PRAYER: Thank you Lord Jesus for this lovely statement of the gospel. Thank you that you died in my place, for my sins. I have done so much wrong. You did nothing wrong. But through your death you have brought me to God. I am so grateful. I pray my life and lips will always show my thanks.