Suffering for Good
In chapter 3, Peter discusses a variety of issues such as how wives and husbands should relate to one another (wives in submission, v. 5, and husbands showing honor, v. 7) and how believers should walk in unity of mind and not repaying evil for evil. These are counterculture today. But beginning in v. 13, Peter prepares followers of Christ for the inevitable - they will suffer. There are some who suffer for doing what is wrong or evil. That is not what Peter speaks of here. If you are a believer and you do wrong, you cannot cry “foul” or claim you are “suffering” for Christ - no, you are getting what is just. What he is preparing them for is suffering for righteousness’ sake (v. 14). He says, “Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.” We are to honor Christ and respectfully deal with those who oppose our beliefs so there can be no recourse on us (v. 16). While this is hard, it is right. We once again, find our example in Christ. Verse 18 tells us, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God.” So if Christ suffered, so can we and so will we. We should therefore not live our lives with fear of what people will say or do to us. But rather, we are called to “in our hearts honor Christ the Lord.” Let us not fear man, but let us fear the Lord and honor Him in all we do. May the Lord be with you today.