Peter talks about submitting and suffering and often those go together. Submitting can be very hard, especially when we are submitting to what we see as wrong, unfair, or just plain ridiculous. However, the Lord still calls us to submit and trust Him.
“Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.”
Peter calls wives to “be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct… as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord.” Remember that Sarah’s husband, Abraham, selfishly and foolishly passed her off twice to foreign rulers to save his own neck (Gen 12 & 20). However, despite her husband’s foolish decisions, Sarah submitted and trusted God with her life and with transforming her husband. The Lord protected Sarah and used her to grow Abraham into a godly man who fully trusted the Lord and walked by faith. So we see that submission isn’t a form of weakness at all. It actually takes a person strong in their faith to be able to submit and trust the Lord.
So even if we are suffering unjustly, we can trust God. And during our trials, we can point others to the One, Jesus Christ, that gives us hope so we may endure – “But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you.”
Pain and suffering are part of living in a fallen world, and suffering for the sake of Christ in this dark world is to be expected – “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you… Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
Tomorrow we will read Peter’s second letter, so keep reading. (1 Peter 2:4-5:11)