21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.
22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.
23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.
When you read these verses, do they seem to you more like an unattainable standard or a goal for how you can endure in faith?
Think of it this way—The Ironman is a race where participants swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, and finish up by running a marathon (26.2 miles)—all in less than 17 hours. Many people describe the race as the ultimate test of physical endurance. For some, it would take participating in the Ironman to test the limits of physical endurance; yet for others among us, it might only take 3 minutes in the swimming portion of the competition for us to feel pushed to the limit.
In a spiritual sense, the same is often true. As followers of Christ, difficult situations can test our endurance when it comes to trusting God. Maybe we can trust Him during the first few days after a traumatic experience, such as losing a job. But what if those stressful days stretch out to weeks or months—even a year? Regardless of our position or circumstances in the race we’re all running, whether we’re leading the pack or pulling up the rear, we’re to hold fast and endure. Peter explained that we’ve been called to it.
Graciously, to save us and so that He might intercede on our behalf, Jesus came to earth as a man and ran the race, too. And He faithfully endured! When He was suffering and tempted, He did not sin but “entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly” (v. 23). In other words, Jesus worshiped the Father, not His right to be treated justly. This is what we are called to, and it is not unattainable, it is a Christ-empowered attitude, enabling our faithful endurance.
• Practically speaking, how can you entrust yourself to Him who judges justly each day?
• How does the example of Christ challenge you in your current circumstance? Why is it important to understand that, in a very real sense, Jesus ran the same race you’re now running?
• Thank Jesus for sympathizing with you and enabling you to draw near to the throne of grace. Ask Him to help you hold fast to Him as you seek to faithfully run this race with endurance.