For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps. (1Pet 2:21)
Jesus Christ suffered for us. He endured much pain and sorrow while doing good for us. Jesus suffered physically throughout His trails, torture, and crucifixion. He suffered emotionally as He was rejected by many, especially when all the disciples deserted Him and fled when Jesus was arrested. He suffered spiritually as He cried out on the cross, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Mt 27:46) Jesus was crucified to bear our sins. The suffering of Jesus Christ was God’s plan for the salvation of the world.
Apostle Peter says Jesus’ actions are meant to be an example for us to follow. Jesus Christ once pointed out that His disciples would suffer for the sake of the kingdom and the righteousness of God. If we know that tribulation is to be expected, we can be spiritually prepared to weather the storm when it comes. People may be harassed or oppressed due to differences in religion or beliefs. Suffering for righteousness sake means that we endure grief from criticism, slander, ridicule, or reproach because of our faith and zeal for Jesus Christ.
“I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church.” (Col 1:24)
In ministering to the needs of others, we need to be ready to suffer, for the work of the Lord involves great effort, patience, and endurance. However, out of our love for the Lord and for the church, we should rejoice in our sufferings. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can develop an attitude of patience and long-suffering as well as joy when facing adversity.
Christians are called to endure suffering for doing good. Living according to the Spirit and putting to death the deeds of the body involves suffering. Following in Jesus’ steps often leads to suffering for doing what is right. As we trust Christ, He counts us worthy to suffer and will give us the strength we need to be steadfast. The Holy Spirit helps us to be wise and strong. The power and consolation of the Holy Spirit will assist us to overcome the afflictions of the world. This is the faith that we should attain in Jesus Christ.