“But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. ‘And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled’.”
But even if you should
“But” – strong contrast. In contrast to suffering for sin, we suffer for “righteousness’ sake.” We either suffer for our sin, or we suffer for God.
The “if” in the Greek expresses substantial doubt that they will suffer for righteousness. The “if” deals with contingency. Suffering may not happen immediately. There is a risk of suffering. Suffering is pressing against them. Pain always looms around the corner for all of us. Peter says, “I wish you were suffering for righteousness’ sake, but you are not.” You suffer for self.
We all face the risk of suffering and pain.
Sooner or later, we will all face suffering. If we depend on happy times to establish our character, we will come to a great fall one day. If we rely on the circumstances of life to make us happy, we will ultimately come to misery. We generally do this in periods of prosperity.
All of us will come to pain in our lives. God designs pain for our growth. God allows two kinds of misery to come into our lives: primary and secondary. Primary pain comes from God’s sovereign placement of pain to gain our attention. Secondary pain is self-induced misery. This is a pain that comes from personal sin. We pay the consequence of our choices.