Suffering and submitting.
Two words many Christians don’t like to talk about… including me.
Yet here in verses 11-12, Peter encourages us – like a good friend – to keep our focus in the midst of the suffering. To live lives that glorify God.
Sometimes God allows the suffering because of what it produces in our lives. Ironically, many times it’s the suffering that matures our faith and makes us stronger rather than the days of blessing. As I read over these verses, I’m reminded that as Christians, we are told in this world we will have trouble (John 16:33). So it’s not really a matter of “IF,” but rather “WHEN” trouble and suffering will arise.
When people accuse you of doing wrong… how will you respond?
“Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” (1 Peter 2:12)
When an injustice is committed against you…will you retaliate?
“When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate, when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.”- 1 Peter 2: 23
Dear friend, if this is where you find yourself today, let me encourage you…
God has not abandoned you in this pain. (Deuteronomy 31:8)
The hurt and rejection you are feeling? Jesus has experienced that same heartache.
Remember Whose you are. YOU, my dear, are a child of the King….you bear his name! (Galatians 3:26)
Trust God in this moment. He is working! Growth always occurs first underneath the soil.
Even though you don’t understand it now, God does have a plan. Walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)
In verses 13-17, Peter goes on to talk about the importance of submitting to those instituted in authority in our lives. I know this can be a hot topic, especially with the character and integrity of some of our leaders. But nonetheless we are called to submit to them for the Lord’s sake (vs. 13). Because this life? It really isn’t about us. It’s about Him and our obedience to Him.
Does this mean that as Christians we can’t stand up for ourselves and voice our opinions? Absolutely not, but we need to remember to do so in a respectable manner.
“It is possible to submit to the institutions and still disobey the laws.”- Warren W. Wiersbe
The story of Daniel and his friends choosing not to eat the food of the king is a great example:
“…they disobeyed the law, but the way that they did is proved that they honored the king and respected the authorities (Dan. 1). They were not rebels; they were careful not to embarrass the official in charge or get him in trouble; and yet they stood their ground. They gloried God and, at the same time, honored the authority of the king.”- Warren W. Wiersbe
We know we are not saved by our good works, but God calls us to do good with the lives He has blessed us with and in doing so, we silence the critics by the evidence of him working through us. We don’t accomplish this by opposing their authority.
“A true Christian submits himself to authority because he is first of all submitted to Christ. He uses his freedom as a tool to build with and not as a weapon to fight with.”- Warren W. Wiersbe
Yet in Acts 5:29 Peter says, “We must obey God rather than men.” …
So the issue comes down to discernment. We respect the office and submit to the authority in our lives unless we have to choose between obeying God or obeying men….
This is why we must be in God’s Word. We have to study it and pray for discernment to know when it’s right to submit to authority that has been placed over us and when to take a stand in obedience to God.
Dear friends, there will be days when following Jesus will take everything we have. Days when we will have to lean hard into Him and His love for us, remembering that we are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation…a people belonging to God (1 Peter 2:9). May it be said of us when outsiders look at our lives that we loved each other well, that we lived upright, obedient lives in love for our Lord and that we honored those in positions over us.
Looking to Jesus as our example…may we live lives in service to one another, willing to suffer and submit for the greater good…the glory of God!
There is no greater time than now…the world is watching!
Love God Greatly!
On a personal note…
It has always been a dream of mine to one day travel to Italy…God in his amazing ways has recently blessed be with an opportunity, through our new partnership with Global Advance, to travel there this week and speak to hundreds of women about Love God Greatly and the amazing work he is doing through our ministry! (My husband and I are also extending the trip and celebrating our 15th year anniversary, too….why not?!!!) I would SO appreciate your prayers as I travel to Italy! Please pray for God to speak through me to these precious women’s hearts! Ohh how I want to serve him well! Thank YOU for joining me on this amazing journey! To God be all glory!
I will be sharing pictures of my trip along the way on our Instagram feed and Facebook page! I would LOVE for you to follow along!
How wonderful Angela, God is so good. My prayers go out to you and your husband for a safe trip, for God to speak through you, and special Blessings upon these woman. I pray for you and your husband to have an exciting yet relaxing time. Happy Anniversary!
Ohhh so sweet of you, Angela ( LOVE your name by the way!!!!) so appreciate your prayers!!!:)
Lord Jesus we pray right now for Angela and her upcoming trip to Italy! We pray dear Lord your protection over her and her husband as they travel. We pray you gather multitudes of women to hear your Word through Angela. We pray you allow the Holy Spirit to move through Angela and speak to each and every woman present. We pray you change the lives of many on the day Angela speaks. We also pray for Angela and her husband that you would bring their love even closer together on this trip as they celebrate their anniversary. Please give them cherished memories and bless their time together. In you Holy Name, Amen!!
Ohhh Nichole!!! What a beautiful prayer!!! Thank YOU so much! What a blessing to have so many dear friends join me in praying over this trip! Thank YOU!:)
Angela how exciting! I will be praying for you and happy 15th anniversary. Gods got great things in store for Love God Greatly and many more lives to impact through this ministry. Maybe someday we will all be attending a Love God Greatly Woman’s Conference! God bless and safe travels!
Ohhh you are so sweet! Thank you so much, Sheila!!! You are such a blessing to all of us here at Love God Greatly!!:)
Praying for your trip to Italy and for all the people you will come in contact with! May He shine greatly through your ministry. I so appreciate the work behind Love God Greatly. You have helped me in my walk with Jesus!
Ohh thank you so much for your sweet prayers, Sandy!!! I truly appreciate them!:)
Yes…To God be the glory!….praying for Your trip in Italy that God will give you the wisdom and understanding to speak for the women about the LGG ministry and also happy Anniversary to You and your husband….Italy seems like a romantic place to go for anniversary. Love and thanks for all that you do.
Ahhh thank you so much, Marilyn!!!!:)
Angela, I pray that you and your husband will have safe travels to and from Italy. That God would bless your time and give you wisdom and guidance as you share about the Love God Greatly ministry with these women. I pray that God would prepare the hearts of the women you will be speaking to that their hearts and minds would be open to what God lays on your hear to share.
Congratulations on celebrating 15 years of marriage.
Thank you for the time and energy you pour into this ministry. It has been a blessing in my life.
Treasure your prayers, Carla!!! Thank YOU so much for praying!!:)
So incredibly happy for you girl. God has used the LGG (and formerly GMG) to bless not only my life, and my families life but now other ladies around me. I pray for your safe travels, I share in your joy for a prayer answered, and I look forward to reading the wonderful things God will do through you and your trip to Italy.
Thank you for your obedience to Him with this ministry, whether it is the hard stuff to do or a beautiful trip to Italy!
God’s blessings and protection over you and your husband,
What a gift to know that LGG has been a blessing to you and your family! May God continue to stretch and grow your sphere of influence as you glorify Him through our study! Blessings to you! <3
Congratulations Angela!! You will be fantastic and 15 years is amazingly wonderful!!! You have used LGG to speak to my heart many different times; maybe an entire post or maybe just one line in a post has often just spoken to me in such an important way that I would swear you were a fly on the wall in my life sometimes.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for just being the amazing and wonderful Creator that You are. Thank you for being our Provider, our Comforter and our Redeemer but most of all, Lord, thank You so very much for Your Holy Spirit that dwells within us and fills us to overflowing with Your love. You are a dream maker and I have no doubt that You have made this dream come true for Angela because you know that she is just the perfect one to accomplish your purposes in Italy. Give her the confidence she needs to speak to these ladies on a heart level and remind her that if her words fail her, Lord, Your Words will fill her. Thank you for loving us even when we are being unlovable. Thank You for proving this to the entire world by sending Your only Son to die on a cross for our sins.
In Jesus’ Sweet and Precious Name,
I’d just like to pass on another way to help spread the gospel and it’s simply this:-
Include a link to an online gospel tract (e.g. http://www.freecartoontract.com/animation) as part of your email signature.
An email signature is a piece of customizable HTML or text that most email applications will allow you to add to all your outgoing emails. For example, it commonly contains name and contact details – but it could also (of course) contain a link to a gospel tract.
For example, it might say something like, “p.s. you might like this gospel cartoon …” or “p.s. have you seen this?”.