Two Schemes of Things

13 Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed (1 Peter 3).

On the one hand, if you read only verse 13 you could get the idea that Peter is promising perfect freedom from “harm” by anyone. He does this through use of a rhetorical question, leading the reader to assume the answer: “No one will harm me if I am zealous for what is good!” But then comes verse verse 14, leading off with “But even if you should suffer ….”

So, what do we do with this? It’s all a matter of perspective. In the grand scheme of things, when all is said and done, there will be no one to harm us for all our zealousness for good. For they will all be done away with forever—cast into that awful lake of fire. Yet, for now and until that day, in this lesser scheme of things, we will indeed “suffer for the sake of righteousness.” But that’s OK, because with this suffering comes a blessing.

We can endure suffering by focusing on the grander scheme of things rather than the lesser. We can suffer repeatedly now, knowing that one day we will never suffer again, and therein lies our blessing.

Lord, thank You for the promise then, and the blessing now. Help us This Day to prove zealous in following You no matter what comes our way. Amen.