Tag Archives: suffering

“So Joseph got up and took the Child and His mother while it was still night, and left for Egypt.  He remained there until the death of Herod.  This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: ‘Out of Egypt I called My Son.’”  (Matthew 2:14-15a, NASB)

Egypt. Time and again in the Bible, Egypt becomes the place of exile and pain.  Joseph (of many-colored coat fame; please see Genesis 37 for details) found himself in Egypt after being sold by his brothers.  The Children of Israel were delivered from slavery in Egypt in what is known as the Exodus.  And now, the Christ child is taken to Egypt by His parents to escape Herod’s slaughter of children.

Exile may have its purposes, but it, nevertheless, also had its own proximate difficulties: Loneliness, unfamiliarity, suffering.

Have you ever been exiled to your own “Egypt”?  Are you there today?

If you are, be resolute in the knowledge that God is in “Egypt” with you; that God will never forsake you; and that God will, in the fullness of time, deliver you.  – Luther

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“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, NIV)

To be Christian is to be like Christ.

Peter provides two clear, practical, snapshots of what it means to be like Christ: Ignoring insults from the “haters”; and making no threat against the agents of suffering and pain.

According to the scriptures, in his early years as a disciple of Jesus, Peter quickly quickly responded to every insult and engaged every opponent.  Through faithful discipleship, Peter was not the person “now” that he was in those early years.

To grow in maturity as a Christian means to become more and more like Jesus.  A measure of our maturity is the degree to which we are willing to entrust ourselves “to him who judges justly.”  – Luther

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“But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.  To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.”   (1 Peter 2:20b-21, NIV)

To “follow in his steps” means going wherever He may go, even into the crucible of personal suffering for doing good.

Because He has left us “an example,” it means doing as He has done: Enduring suffering for God’s glory.

To imitate Jesus is our calling!  It may be the only glimpse of Christ at work through suffering that some of your neighbors, co-workers, family members, and friends see today.  – Luther

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