Learning that our suffering is often not of our own, but through the indwelling Christ, can help us see what grace is.
Paul said he rejoiced in his sufferings for the sake of the body.
And Peter said:
It is definitely out of Him, through Him and to Him, for Him. It can definitely be His sufferings that may become part of our experience.
It is more easily remembered in the daylight than in the dark… yet, by grace, we can sometimes recognize it after, sometimes long after.
Christ cried out on the cross to His Father, “Why have you forsaken Me?” It was dark. “Doing good and suffering” He endured the cross, despising the shame – yet recognizing the joy set before Him…. Still, He forgot the Father’s loving attentiveness to Him. Pain sometimes does that, I think.
“Into this you were called… follow in His footsteps.” Only He can follow in His footsteps, in us. At least in my case, when I “try”, I fail. He is our Life. We live by His grace.
We have “been turned” to the Shepherd and Overseer of our souls, through His grace.
I would personally qualify in the category of, “For of what credit is it if sinning and being buffeted (for it), you endure it?” But God was merciful. Christ died for me.
I saw a footnote, regarding “In His welts we were healed.” I wanted to share it: “The healing of death. We were dead (Eph. 2:1), but Christ’s suffering of death healed our death that we may live in His resurrection.” Amen. Praise the Lord Jesus. His grace is sufficient.
The top photo is part of my Bible study in 1 Peter. It is a very rich study, in which I am now entering 1 Peter chapter 3. I read in a book called, “Revolutionary Bible Study” by G. Edwards, that Peter wrote this letter to the believers in cities in which Paul had taught, during the dispersion of Jewish believers from Jerusalem, during Roman rule, while Paul was in prison in Rome, awaiting execution under Nero. I thought about the circumstances regarding Jews coming into Gentile churches, as well as the societal conditions under Nero, and his persecution of the Christians.