For it brings favor if, mindful of God’s will, someone endures grief from suffering unjustly. For what credit is there if you sin and are punished, and you endure it? But when you do what is good and suffer, if you endure it, this brings favor with God.
There is a way to create favor with God. It seems strange to say this but the principle is clear here. There is something we can do or, maybe better, a response we can have that will garner God’s favor. It is this, suffer unjustly for doing what is good. Suffering brings favor. Not just any suffering, obviously. Suffering for the doing of good things. When we seek to pursue and live good lives and suffer as a result, the favor of God is given as is evidenced by our Lord’s suffering on the cross. His suffering has brought enormous favor even to those who did not participate in His particular suffering. Thus, it seems we can extrapolate that our suffering unjustly for doing good can even bring God’s favor to others. (The Apostle Paul also alludes to this in 2 Corinthians and Colossians.) It will not bring the favor to others that Lord Jesus brought since He is God and He walked perfectly on this earth. Neither of these apply to us and hopefully none of us imagine that they do. We are not God and we are not perfect; however, even in our piddling little imperfect lives we have the capability of bringing God’s favor into our path and possibly onto others.
Do good. Suffer for it unjustly.
Suffering is a terrifying thought for a man of fear such as myself. Yet, I pray that should this opportunity come at any level in my life, the Holy Spirit will grant me the strength and resolve to bear up and suffer for righteousness sake. Nothing compares with the favor of God. Nothing.