Suffering is an expected part of the Christian life. Suffering is the way of Jesus. Suffering brings life.
J.D. Greer firstly stated that one can suffer because one did evil and proceeded to pose a situation of Jonah who suffered in the belly of a fish for running away from God. Greear quotes Jen Wilkin summarizing 1 Peter to propose three reasons why Christians suffer , "We should be willing to suffer unjustly because Christ was willing to suffer unjustly to bring us to God."
Secondly, Greer proposed that one can suffer for doing right and referred to Joseph who was sold into slavery and put into prison for doing that right thing. Joseph's suffering was later used to bring salvation to many people.
Greer's last point of suffering for following Jesus was of "no perceivable reason" and "just a mystery". To support this argument, Greer referred to Job who lost all his worldly possessions despite his good faith in God.
"God changes you in the suffering, but you don't quite know what he's doing in the world through it. From our perspective, it's just a mystery," Greer said.
Greer aimed to reassure followers of Christ that amidst these sufferings, God is at work and that these sufferings aren't a result of past actions.
"For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God's will, than for doing evil" (1 Peter 3:17 CSB).
Greer adds that sometimes it is even the sole will of God for you to suffer. "You can do everything good and still suffer. It doesn't mean you're a bad person. It means you're alive," Greer said.
The idea that God makes everything right after one pleases him needs to be dropped because according to Greer, "That's not what Jesus' life was like. He did everything right and suffered."
"In suffering with Christ, we have strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow."