Suffering (Days 22-30): Read through Isaiah, James, 1-3 John, and Jude

Just desserts. Suffering for something done which was stupid or sinful. We’ve all been there because we’re all stupid or sinful at times. We suffer because of our own shortcomings, but we also suffer because of other people’s failings. At other times, we suffer just as a common condition of mankind. A relative’s death brings crushing suffering. A diagnosis of cancer places a heavy weight on you and your family. A friend suffers with Alzheimer’s while you visit your 30-year friend as a stranger. Your business goes belly-up as a result of a downturn in the economy. Your employer transfers you to another state. An injury due to a texting driver nags you daily. There wasn’t anything that you did that directly led to the suffering, but you have to endure it nonetheless. God wants us to look to Him in our suffering, whether we’ve done it to ourselves or not. However, there’s a special kind of suffering of which God takes notice—suffering because we’ve done something right.

Suffering for doing what’s right is biblical. Let’s focus on suffering which you may endure because you did something to lead to it. You did something right. This is commendable. Peter says, For God is pleased with you when you do what you know is right and patiently endure unfair treatment. Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you (1 Peter 2 NLT). The Old Testament prophets suffered for doing what’s right. James says, Brothers and sisters, take the prophets who spoke in the Lord’s name as an example of suffering and patience. See, we count as blessed those who have endured (James 5 CSB). The apostles suffered for preaching the gospel. Stephen was stoned for speaking the truth. Peter and John were imprisoned for healing a man and giving glory to Jesus. Eventually, Paul was executed as well as ten of the original twelve. Peter went on to explain, For you were called to this, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps (1 Peter 2 CSB). Peter then recalls a passage in Isaiah 53 about the Suffering Servant Jesus. You’ll read this this week. Yet he himself bore our sicknesses, and he carried our pains; but we in turn regarded him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced because of our rebellion, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on him, and we are healed by his wounds (Isaiah 53 CSB).

If you’re suffering, endure patiently. If you’re suffering for doing something good, then endure patiently, and take comfort that you’re walking in Jesus’ steps. You’re walking in Jesus’ sandals. He’s been there. However, the difference is that Jesus suffered for doing what was right, and He’d done no wrong–ever.

This week you’ll read…

Isaiah 49-66: “We all went astray like sheep; we all have turned to our own way; and the Lord has punished Him for the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53 in The Christian Standard Bible).

James 5: “Elijah was a human being as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the land. Then he prayed again, and the sky gave rain and the land produced its fruit” (James 5 in The Christian Standard Bible).

1-3 John: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1 in The Christian Standard Bible).

Jude 1: “Now to Him who is able to protect you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of His glory, without blemish and with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority before all time, now and forever. Amen” (Jude 1 in The Christian Standard Bible).

CSB are daily readings linked to The Christian Standard Bible on BibleGateway.com.

MSG are daily readings linked to The Message Bible on BibleGateway.com.

NLT are daily readings linked to The New Living Translation on BibleGateway.com.

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not the King

recipient of grace and servant of Christ Jesus

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