If God Wills It

For it is better to suffer for doing good, if God wills it, than for doing evil. [1Peter 3:17 NET]

As I read this verse, I am wondering how people might interpret it. Is Peter saying that God wills doing good or that he wills someone to suffer for doing good? The answer probably reveals how you view God's role in the world. My own view is that God always wills us to good regardless of the outcome. I think that our understanding of God's will always taps into our deep seated views about God.

In the verses following this one, Peter speaks to us about how Jesus suffered for doing good. Some think that this suffering was God's plan all along. Yet some think that God preferred that humans would have bowed to Jesus rather than kill him. Again, it goes back to perspective. How we see God. Is he really the One described as Love? Is he Good all of the time? One's answer reveals how they see God's will.

You are good and loving Lord. Help us to remember that when we are suffering.

... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on the epistles of Peter.

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