17 For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong. 18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit. 1 Peter 3:17-18
This is pretty heavy stuff, from here to Chapter 4. But there’s some low hanging fruit to grab onto. The rest we can get to when there’s time to break out the ladder.
First, it’s not a problem for us to do wrong. When we do, suffering to some degree follows. But to suffer for doing right–that’s when we know what we’re doing meets God’s specs–we know such an occasion has been wrought by Him. Of course, while potentially more painful, this kind of suffering is much better. Why? Because it’s always good to be in the center of God’s will, good times or bad. It’s also an honor to be tapped for service.
It’s important to keep in mind when it comes to suffering, we don’t have to be burned at the stake to suffer for him. We do so even when we simply stand up for what is right. This may happen when other Christians cower, who can’t be enlisted because their consciences aren’t clear. And we may even suffer at the hands of other Christians whose cover has been blown by our righteousness.
Second, this kind of suffering is Christ-like, since he was definitely just in his suffering. His quintessential act on the cross was only necessary once, to bring us to the Father. We suffer for the same purpose. To bring others to the truth. He cared enough to die for us. We should care enough for him to exemplify his love where the rubber meets the road.
These out-of-body experiences are only possible because, we too, are alive in the spirit, for what can mere man do to us?
33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies;
34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Romans 8:33-34