Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Suffering – Even When We’re Doing Good

1 Peter 3:17

It is better, if it is God‘s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

112015 Ray McDonaldI’ve read books like When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold S. Kushner and wondered – why?  Why should those who do good suffer?  Why should my mom – who lived a good life – never hurting anyone – and loving the Lord with all her heart – suffer as she is now?  Why should those who play by the rules and do most things right still suffer?  It happens in life folks – like I wrote a few days ago quoting Andy Stanley – life isn’t fair – fair ended in the Garden of Eden.

Today’s lesson reads – It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.  Not exactly the same thing as bad things happening to good people – but – it does state a strong point.  The point is – if God allows it – and we are doing right – better to suffer for doing that good right thing than suffering for doing evil.

Here are some verses around today’s passage.  1 Peter 3:8-17 – 8 Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. 9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech.  11 He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it.  12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”  13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.” 15 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17 It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

I’ve heard some people over the years say things like – if I’m going to suffer for doing the right thing – I might as well do the wrong thing and receive the same punishment.  This is just not a true statement my friends.  Christ was crucified – He suffered – having done nothing wrong – but He suffered for a good purpose – for the Father’s will.  I’m not saying I completely understand the way this plays out for us – but the simple truth is – It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

I found another passage that supports this and explains things a little for me and I hope for you as well – words from Jesus.  Matthew 5:10-12 – 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

As long as we are striving to do God’s will – evil may come against us and we may suffer – but if we are suffering for Christ’s sake – we will be blessed in the end.

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

Advertisements

December 8, 2015 - Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: