1 Peter 2 Lesson

How To Manage Suffering - Jesus' Example

Our focus verse for today’s lesson is:

  • “For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps.” – 1 Peter 2:21.

Jesus suffered greatly on the cross. He was willing to do this because of His immense love for us. But just because He loves us, does not mean that we get a free pass to heaven! There are things that He commands us to do. One of those things is to mirror His example on how to handle suffering.

The Bible tells us that everyone will suffer. Make no mistake about it, there is nothing in the Bible that says that life on earth is going to be easy. Suffering is a part of life, especially for Christians. If anybody became a Christian because they thought that would make their lives easy, they are in for a surprise! In this life, all of us, including Jesus, must suffer.

Paul wrote about this in his second letter to Timothy:

To be persecuted means, “To subject (someone) to hostility and ill-treatment, especially because of their race or political or religious beliefs.”

Those who follow Jesus are going to be on the receiving end of some immoral behavior. Think about how Jesus was treated! His life was anything but easy, even before the crucifixion. However, He persevered through every challenge that came His way and remained steadfast in His commitment to follow His Father’s commands.

Believe it or not, our suffering and Jesus’ suffering are related. Peter talks about this in the following scripture: 1 Peter 2:21-23:

  • “Since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously.” – 1 Peter 2:21-23.

JESUS’ EXAMPLE ON HOW TO MANAGE SUFFERING

  1. When people reviled Jesus (to criticize in an abusive or hostile way), He did not revile in return.
  2. While suffering, Jesus uttered no threats.
  3. Jesus entrusted Himself to God - to “Him who judges righteously.”

When we suffer, we need to think about these three bullet points and try to emulate Jesus’ behavior.

When we are attacked with words, Jesus does not want us to retaliate. Instead, He wants us to, “Turn the other cheek.” In His sermon on the mount, Jesus said:

  • “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.” – Mathew 5:38-39

This will seem odd to most people.   It will not be the response that they are expecting, and that makes for an excellent opportunity to glorify God!  

CONCLUSION

Returning to our focus verse from earlier, we will read a little further for better context:

  • “For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth;  and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously;  and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.  For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.” – 1 Peter 2:21-25.

What purpose is Paul talking about at the beginning of that passage that we have been called for? To understand the answer to that question, we need to go back a few verses to 1 Peter 2:18-20:

  • “Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable.  For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it; this finds favor with God.”

THAT is the purpose that we have been called for!

  • “For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly.” – 1 Peter 2:19.

God wants us to stand out to the world by following Jesus’ example on how to manage suffering. We are called to do this, even when we are suffering unjustly. Even when it is difficult.

When those that have power or authority over us are treating us badly, the world is expecting us to push back. But that is not what Jesus did. That is not how Jesus SHOWED us to respond to suffering.

Remember Jesus’ example?

  1. When people reviled Jesus, He did not revile in return.
  2. While suffering, Jesus uttered no threats.
  3. Jesus entrusted Himself to God - to “Him who judges righteously.”

There is a saying, “If it is to be, it is up to me.”

Mirroring Jesus’ example is what we are called to do.   It will seem strange, or different to the world, and it will not be easy.  That is ok.  

We will end today’s lesson with the following verse:

  • “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” –John 1:5.  

Comments

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How can you apply what you have just learned?

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Virtual Bible Study

How can you apply what you have just learned?

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Michael
Virtual Bible Study

I hope as I get older, I am wiser and more mature. Today's lesson brought home how God wants me to turn the other cheek, even when it is difficult to do so.

"Turning the other cheeck" is something I had trouble with when I was younger. Now that I am older, I focus more on setting my mind on things above and not on the things of this world, so turning the other cheek comes much easier.

For me, it is about having a gentle spirit.

Nothing anyone can say or do to me has any impact on how much Jesus loves me or what God's plan is for me.

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Tommy

Newborn babes desire milk out of instinct. They just somehow know they need it. I think what the scripture is telling us is that at our core, we know we need God and Jesus. We should just accept it like a baby accepts milk, and not get hung up on worldly lusts, possessions, etc.

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