April 3, 2007Email to a FriendPrint
For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. 1 Peter 2:19
“No good deed ever goes unpunished.” One of my friends holds to that rather dark perspective of life.
Last week he sent me an article that had just been released by the Associated Press. The story told of how some passengers, waiting to board a plane in Minneapolis, became concerned. The object of their anxiety was a group of six men who were chanting, speaking Arabic, talking about Saddam Hussein and cursing the United States. Concern became fear when the six men boarded the plane and took seats scattered around the cabin. When they asked for the seatbelt extenders and didn’t use them, the observers did what they felt was right. As the government encourages, they reported the suspicious behavior. As a result of those reports the six Muslim clerics were removed from the plane, had their luggage checked by bomb-sniffing dogs, and were questioned at length by the FBI.
That, however, is not the end of the story. The six men hired a lawyer. That lawyer has explained that the clerics had been in Minneapolis for an Islamic convention and that the six men were praying, not cursing. They sat in the seats that had been assigned to them, and they had ordered the extenders because their seatbelts didn’t fit.
The lawyer also explained that the six are suing the airline and threatening to sue some of the passengers who reported them.
Is my friend right in saying, “No good deed ever goes unpunished?” I don’t know. I do know that the Apostle Peter believed Christians must sometimes endure sorrows because they are trying to do what God asks. Peter knew that when the Savior’s people stand up for what they believe is right, the world will not always applaud their commitment or courage. Indeed, Peter believed this so strongly, that by the Holy Spirit’s power he encouraged, “this is a gracious thing, when mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly.”
Suffering unjustly. That is certainly what happened to the Savior as He lived His perfect life to save us. Unfairly, He was accused, tried, condemned, and crucified. Still, by Jesus’ gracious act of love, because He endured unjust suffering, we are saved. His sacrifice is our salvation. His suffering is our motivation.
Which is why, even though the government is worried this lawsuit may stop people from reporting “strange” activities, I believe Christians, who are living lives of thanksgiving to the Savior, will continue to do what they believe is right.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, allow me to offer my deepest thanks that You followed Your Father’s plan and were willing to suffer unjustly, so that I and all who believe might be forgiven and saved. Let me, filled with appreciation for Your gracious acts, live my days doing what is right. In Your name. Amen.