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1 Peter 3:17: For It Is Better To Suffer For Doing Good, If That Should Be God's Will, Than For Doing Evil.

1 Peter 3:17
[17] For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil. (ESV)

Read that verse again. There might be a phrase that grabs your attention and shakes your senses a little bit. The phrase is, "if that should be God's will." There are many people who claim to know Christ who are shocked by the idea that it could be God's will that we should suffer. Even more shocking is the idea that it would be God's will that we should suffer for doing good.

We must remember that it was God's will that Jesus himself suffer. In fact, he suffered for doing good. There was no evil found in him. He was perfectly holy. As Isaiah says, "Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief" (Isaiah 53:10). When we consider the suffering that we may go through, we are reminded that God wills suffering for the believer.

Now, let's consider this statement, "It is better." Why would it be better to suffer for doing good? We need to consider this at two levels. First of all, Why is it better to suffer for doing good than for doing evil? Secondly, what benefit is there for suffering for doing good in general? The first question should be easy. Suffering for doing evil means that we are in sin, and outside of what God wants for us.

What is the benefit of suffering for doing good? Primarily, the benefit is that your testimony will declare to the unbeliever that your faith is real and of great worth. Suffering and the message of the Gospel has been connected from the beginning. In Acts 1:8, Jesus said, "You will be my witnesses." The greek word for "witness" is the same word from which we get the word "martyr."

Have you considered that God can use your godly suffering to bring other people to salvation? Ask the Lord to show you how his sovereign will can be a blessing in the midst of your suffering.