**Image from Passion of the Christ movie**
"For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps."--1 Peter 2:22. Christ, we know He suffered for our sins. But after looking at this passage, I realize that many of us myself included may have reached a point where we have been Christians for so long that maybe just maybe we are taking this fundamental fact of what Christ did for us for granted. I look at 1 Peter 2:22-25 and am reminded that without what Christ did for all of us, our souls would have no chance of spending eternity in heaven with God. 1 Peter 2:25 calls Christ the Shepherd and Guardian of our souls. A point we will look at at another time. But Christ set an example for us in every way. Among other things, Christ left us a suffering example.
A suffering example. Ever suffered just for being a Christian? I believe it is safe to assume that here in the United States none of us have suffered for being a Christian the way the apostles did for being followers of Christ.
A suffering example. Even if we have not physically suffered for being a Christian, have you ever been made fun of or looked down upon simply for standing for what Christ would stand for? If your answer is yes, you know it is not a fun feeling.
A suffering example. 1 Peter 2:22 tells us that even Christ's suffering served as an example for us to follow. the Scriptures are clear that if we truly desire to follow Christ, suffering comes with the package. If they persecuted Him, they will persecute us.
A suffering example. For those of us who have suffered for being a Christian, we know it is not a fun feeling. But in reality suffering for being a Christian is not all that bad.
A suffering example. The Scriptures do tell us we will suffer as a Christian. But the Scriptures also tell us that said suffering will be to our benefit. 2 Peter 4:16 says explicitly that if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.
A suffering example. My encouragement to you is this. Remember that if you have suffered for being a Christian, it is not you people are rejecting, it is God.
If you have suffered for being a Christian, remember the suffering is only momentary and passing but your reward is eternal.
Finally, if you have suffered for being a Christian, remember Christ suffered for us leaving us an example, a suffering example.
No practical suggestion here except to continue to be diligent in your faith and to not be afraid to stand for what you know Christ would stand for on a daily basis.
DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! PRAY ABOUT IT! LOVE Y'ALL! GOD BLESS! AND MAY WE NEVER FORGET WHAT CHRIST, OUR SUFFERING EXAMPLE DID FOR US!!!