Those who have known grace should show grace. I buy that. Those whose sins have been forgiven because of the finished work of the cross should forgive the sins of others. Makes sense to me. Those who have been blessed should bless. Ok, I’m in. Those for whom Christ suffered unjustly should be willing to suffer unjustly, as well. Um . . . let me think about that one a bit.
For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God.
“A gracious thing,” Peter calls it. A charis quality. Enduring suffering and sorrows which have come upon you through no fault of your own. Doing good and yet not being treated very good. That, says Peter, is a grace thing in the sight of God.
As I think about it, there is really so much about “the call” that I’m good with signing up for. Called out of darkness. Called into light. Called to be set apart as saints. Called to be holy. Called to be a messenger of good news. Called to be adopted as a full heir in God’s family. Called to receive an inheritance in heaven. Who’s up for that call? Who’s ready to drink abundantly from that fountain of grace? This guy!
But called to suffer? And that, unjustly? Not as intuitive as to how that’s a grace thing.
What makes it a grace thing, I think, is because it’s done “mindful of God.”
Those Peter wrote to were suffering because they were Christians. They were on the run for their faith. And while going into exile might have gotten them out of the frying pan for a season, they were still in the midst of a growing fire . . . and the flames were only going to increase–for some, literally! Because they had responded to God’s grace and goodness, they were now the subjects of the enemy’s hate and harassment.
But to endure such unfair circumstance, when mindful of God, is a grace thing. To trust in the provision of the Great Provider in the midst of trial is commendable before the Creator. To remain faithful to Him who is always faithful, is pleasing to the Father. To hang in there, even when it hurts, because you really believe that He will never leave or forsake, nor will He let you be tried beyond your ability to endure, is, in and of itself, a sweet-smelling sacrifice to the Savior.
Not sure the grace thing becomes an easier thing when mindful of the Lord, but it does display His strength in our weakness. It evidences the reality of mercies that are new every morning. It’s a reminder that greater is He that is in us than those who are against us in the world.
It really is a grace thing.
By His grace. For His glory.