As hard as it is for me to not just let loose and give my opinion on all that’s wrong in this country, I will not give in to that today. And hopefully, not tomorrow either. Or the day after that. But what I will do is give you passages from 1 Peter concerning our conduct when faced with adversity, of which, there are many. I have a tendency to get riled quite easily with all the frustrations of today’s world and, truthfully, it solves nothing. You cannot expect to be heard when yelling over the yelling, even if it’s in written form. And lately, everyone seems to have something to say.
I randomly opened up my Bible to scripture I really needed to hear. (I love when that happens.) I know there’s quite a bit to read but I tried to narrow it down the best I could without taking away from the message. These passages are crystal clear as to how we should conduct ourselves as godly people.
1 Peter 2:13-24
13 Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, 14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. 16 Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. 17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. 18 Servants be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. 19 For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
1 Peter 3:8-17
8 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9 Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. 10 For whosoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; 11 let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” 13 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.
1 Peter 4:14-19
14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And if the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” 19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.
1 Peter 5:6-11
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
In most conflict, we can be firm yet respectful. It is possible to be angry without sinning. This is where self-control comes into play. We can’t fight on the same level as evil people and expect to be pleasing to God. There’s no logic (or hope) in that. And we certainly cannot criticize or condemn if we are acting the same.
I encourage you to reflect on your reactions to things, written or spoken, that are contrary to what you believe to be truth. How did you feel initially? Think before responding. I’m not suggesting that we tuck our tails and run, or that we hide our head in the sand, or that we don’t protect ourselves and our families. But we do need to handle every situation with some sort of dignity. There are many who argue solely for the sake of arguing. Some will cross lines, push you past limits, and try to break you. Keeping the pot stirred is their goal to divide us. And their tactics are often cruel. Be better than that. There’s a great war going on right now between good and evil. We are suffering battles on a daily basis. Let the good prevail in you and give God the glory no matter how large, or small, your battle is today. Even if you feel your battle was lost, yet you remained steadfast, it was still a win in God’s eyes. Ask for guidance and take things one day at a time, one battle at a time.
It is my intention to expand upon the biblical topic of government in a future blog. Hopefully, it will come together so we can learn more of God’s expectations for us.
Be grateful for unity in Christ, for godly instruction, and for battles won in His name. ♥️
Photos: Cataract Falls (upper), August 12, 2020, a lovely afternoon spent with Grandpa