I Peter 2:19 “For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God.” What? What is this unjust suffering? (using my best professor voice) Good exegetical analysis starts with understanding the topic of what Peter was writing. This way we can accurately define what kind of suffering we are considering. This section of teaching is referring to submitting to man made authorities. Now since man imposed authorities have men in them, then God knows that some men will be unjust, mean, or wrong. This can effect you if you let it. For instance, say you got unfairly passed over for a promotion, or your professor unjustly gave you a bad grade. Well this whole passage is talking about that kind of unjust suffering. The verse just prior to this one says “Servants, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.”
So lets say you work somewhere and the authority is just plain wrong and unfair. Well you should get angry right? Or give that boss a piece of your mind? No. What this scripture is telling us is that we should work hard and respectfully no matter who is in authority. I put it like this. I will never let someone else determine how hard I work. So if another employee is getting away with being lazy, I’m not going to be lazy, it’s just not who I want to be. Or if authority is so unfair that it makes me want to quit, well, I’m not going to quit, because no one gets to determine how I feel. I work hard and honor leadership because God told me to, and nothing will distract me from that. Now none of us are perfect at that. On some level we are defeated here. Still, let us give our best effort. The scripture here told you to “bear up” under this suffering, which indicates that you should continue to produce in an upward manner with your head held high. Remember that when you are treated unfairly but you just keep on working hard with an honoring heart, well, then, God himself will reward you. And God rewards a lot better than people do.
The Living Word Bible Church