1 Peter 4:1-2 tells us, “Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.” This book brings out how that Christ suffered for the righteousness’ sake, and we, as His followers, should also suffer for the Lord’s sake. We learn in 1 Peter 2:21-25, “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.” In Christ’s sufferings, He left us an example of how we are to suffer.

  • He suffered graciously – REVILED NOT AGAIN
  • He suffered patiently – HE THREATENED NOT
  • He suffered confidently – COMMITTED HIMSELF
  • He suffered vicariously – BARE OUR SINS
  • He suffered purposefully – THAT WE SHOULD LIVE
  • He suffered victoriously – WE ARE NOW RETURNED

It is our privilege to join with the Lord Jesus in suffering for righteousness’ sake. The Apostle Paul teaches us in Philippians 1:29, “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to SUFFER FOR HIS SAKE.” Let’s consider the conversion of Saul (later to be called Paul). He was struck blind while on the road to Damascus when he met the Lord along the way. Later, the Lord appeared in a vision to a man named Ananias. He was instructed to go to Saul because he was waiting to have his eyesight restored. The Lord told Ananias in Acts 9:15-16, “Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I WILL SHEW HIM HOW GREAT THINGS HE MUST SUFFER FOR MY NAME’S SAKE.” The Lord didn’t mention what great things Paul would do, but how that he MUST suffer for the Lord’s name’s sake!

Getting back to 1 Peter, he tells us in 1 Peter 2:19, “For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.” He also tells us in 1 Peter 3:17, “For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye SUFFER FOR WELL DOING, than for evil doing.” If we suffer in the flesh, surely that is an indication that we are not living in the flesh. We are not enjoying and participating in the things of the world. When we suffer for the Lord’s sake, we learn the blessings of living for Him and not living for the world. The world will seek to make us comfortable and to settle here in this God forsaking world. Upon salvation, our citizenship is shifted. We no longer belong to this world. Philippines 3:20 tells us, “For OUR CITIZENSHIP IS IN HEAVEN, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” As such, we should not desire to be a part of this world. When we stand FOR the Lord and APART from all that world offers, we will indeed suffer persecution for the Lord’s sake. Paul assures us in 2 Timothy 3:12, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus SHALL SUFFER PERSECUTION.” If we are not suffering any persecution, I dare say that is an indication that we are not living godly in Christ Jesus. When we stand FOR Christ, the world will stand AGAINST us.

Peter goes on to tell us in 1 Peter 4:16, “Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.” To suffer for Christ’s sake is nothing to be ashamed of, rather it is something that glorifies the Lord. We close with one more verse from Peter. 1 Peter 4:19, “Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.” (239.8)