“…when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called” (I Peter 2:20, 21).
God, who called you is faithful. For what, did He call you? He called you firstly for holiness, secondly for the peace and thirdly for eternal glory. Not only that. He also called you to tolerate the sufferings in the Name of God. Has He not left a model for you to follow?
It is a joyous blessing to suffer for the sake of Jesus Christ. How greatly has He suffered for your sake! What a terrible painful suffering it might have been, when He was crowned with a crown of thorns and His legs and hands were pierced with nails! Is it not because of His love over you, He patiently tolerated all those sufferings!
That day, Paul and Silas realised that the purpose of their calling was to bear the sufferings when they underwent imprisonment. It was a joyous blessing for them to suffer for the sake of God. That is why they did not mind the physical pain and continued to worship God singing His praises. What is the secret behind singing amid sufferings? It is the feeling that the purpose of their calling is to suffer.
Paul, the apostle writes, “Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope for you is steadfast because we know that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also you will partake of the consolation” (II Corinthians 1:6, 7).
Have a close look at the manner in which the life of every disciple and Apostle came to an end. Many have suffered for the sake of God and have given their lives as a witness for the same. Peter was nailed on the cross upside down. Mark’s neck was tied with a rope to a chariot and was dragged through the streets of Rome until he was dead. Mathew died in Ethiopia as a blood witness.
Thomas the apostle died in India as a blood witness, James the apostle was beheaded in Rome and John was plunged into boiling oil many times but these people did not deviate from the love of Christ. The reason is that they knew the purpose of their calling. Dear children of God do not become disheartened during times of suffering. God will lead you by giving His grace.
To meditate: “For I will show him how many things he must suffer for my name’s sake” (Acts 9:16).