It is not very popular to say that Christians have been called to persecution and suffering. It is a message countercultural to our entitlement mindset and diametrically opposed to the gospel of the Health, Wealth and Prosperity movement. But, however difficult as it is to hear, and even harder to practice, it is a biblical reality.
When addressing suffering Christians Peter wrote, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the words “For even hereunto were ye called” (1 Peter 2:21). The Apostle Paul also wrote, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (1 Timothy 3:12). Even Jesus said, “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you” (Matthew 5:10) . . . for “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me’” (Matthew 16:24).
So after reminding his audience of their privilege position in Christ (1 Peter 1:1-2:12), and reminding them of their duty to obey the civil authorities (1 Peter 2:13-17) Peter continues to implore them to obey those over them in the work place, even if their superior is harsh and abusive (1 Peter 2:18-20a). The basis of Peter’s message is this,
. . . because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us and example, that ye should follow his steps” – 1 Peter 2:21b