If ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye—1 Pet. 3: 14.
It is only when we are hated because of our loyalty to the Truth (directly or indirectly) that we are to take satisfaction therein, or to think that we are suffering for righteousness' sake. As the Apostle points out, some suffer as evil-doers and as busybodies in other men's matters, or because of ungentleness, uncouthness, or lack of the wisdom of moderation, which the Lord's Word counsels. It is our duty not only to study the Lord's will but also to consider well the circumstances and the conditions which surround us, and to seek to adopt such a moderate course in life as would first of all have Divine approval, and secondly, cause as little trouble, inconvenience and displeasure to others as possible, and then to rely confidently upon the Lord's supervising wisdom and providence.
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To suffer for righteousness' sake implies bringing evil upon ourselves by our zeal in being dead to self and the world and alive to God in watching, praying, in studying and spreading God's Word and in developing a character in harmony with it. Happy indeed are they who so do; for theirs is the fellowship of the Father, the Son and the saints, the possession of God's Spirit, Word and providence and the glorious hope of sharing in the Kingdom with Christ; yes, all things are theirs!
Parallel passages: Matt. 5: 10-12; Jas. 1: 2, 12; 5: 10; 1Pet. 2: 19-21; 4: 12-19; Acts 9: 16; Rom. 8: 17, 18, 23; 1Cor. 4: 12, 13; 2Cor. 1: 5-7; 4: 16-18; Phil. 1: 29; 3: 10; Col. 1: 24; 2Thes. 1: 4, 5; 2Tim. 2: 12.
Questions: Have I suffered for righteousness? How? What helped or hindered? With what results?
SOMETIME WE'LL UNDERSTAND
PERHAPS 'twill be in coming years,
It may be in the better land,
We'll read the meaning of our tears,
And thus, sometime, we'll understand.
We'll catch the broken threads again,
And finish what we here began;
Heav'n will the mysteries explain,
And then, ah! then, we'll understand.
We'll know why clouds instead of sun
Were over many a cherished plan;
Why song hath ceased when scarce begun.
Ah, yes! sometime, we'll understand.
Why what we longed for most of all,
Eludes so oft our eager hand;
Why hopes are crushed and castles fall—
Some day, sometime, we'll understand.
God knows the way, He holds the key,
He guides us with unerring hand;
Sometime with tearless eyes we'll see;
Yes, there, beyond, we'll understand.
Then trust in God, thro'all thy days,
Fear not, for He doth hold thy hand;
Tho' dark thy way, still sing and praise;
Sometime, sometime, we'll understand.
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