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.
In this life there will be suffering. Some of it is brought on by the sinful acts of others. Some of it comes to us as the consequence of our own sinfulness. Then there are times when we suffer for doing good, which seems strange, but it does occur usually in the form of persecution. What may be even stranger to us is that suffering for going good should be seen as God’s will. Many are often asking what God’s will is for their life and Peter says it may include suffering for doing good which is not usually the plans we have for ourselves. Suffering is never the desire of our hearts, but in this case it servers a greater purpose because when we suffering under these conditions and we do so with patience and without retaliation, honoring Christ as Lord in those circumstances we open a door of opportunity to share with people the hope we have in Christ – a hope that knows that the suffering in this life is momentary compared to the riches of the blessings that will come in the next life. So when you’re confronted with the reality that you may be suffering for doing good be sure to step back for a moment, confirm your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, endure the suffering, and then look for the chance to speak the gospel into the lives of those who are persecuting you.