I Peter 2:21 exhorts us that we should follow in the footsteps of the Savior. The question is, what does following in the footsteps of the Savior look like? Are we left on our own to determine what this means? In the providence of God, the context of this exhortation tells us what this means. It is to live a life of service even when it is hard to do so.
In verses 18 through 20, the context is the employee/employer relationship. The Scriptures admit that there may be crooked and unfair employers or any other human exercise of authority. But the Christian is to endure the unfair or harsh treatment because it is "acceptable with God." Is it acceptable to you? One may ask, though, why should we endure grief that is not of our own making. The answer to that question is found in verses 21 and 22.
All Christians are "called" to service, but it is not the "keep a stiff upper lip" kind of service. It is the kind of service that was lived by the prime example of service. That pattern is that while we are called with a marvelous calling in the promise and hope of a glorious eternity, for the here and now, we are also called to humble and patient service of both God and our fellow man. That is, we are called to be just like the Savior; following His example. Arguing from the greater to the lesser says, if the totally innocent Son of God, "who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds." (Hebrews 12:2, 3)
Of course, the greatest act of service that the Savior performed was His sacrificial life and death for us. He was reviled. They said, "He has a demon", "He is crazy", "He is a drunk", "He is a deceiver", "He makes Himself equal with God", "He hangs out with low-lifes". But the text says, when He was reviled, He did not revile back. He was made to suffer. They tried to stone Him. They brought false witnesses against Him. He was declared innocent, but was punished anyway. He was abused and tortured. He was executed, not like a common criminal, but like an uncommon criminal and with a death reserved for the worst of the worst. And yet, though He was threatened, did not promise vengeance or seek to "get even."
Your salvation depended upon the trust that the Son had in the Father. Your salvation depended on the humility of the Savior. Your salvation depended upon the obedience of the Savior. Your salvation depended upon the willingness of the Savior to take upon Himself the form of a servant. And He did these things so that we can have the same hope and trust in our Heavenly Father. The example of Christ in His sacrificial life and patient suffering is an example of how we ought to live in every part of life because we, like the Savior, are confident in the Father's judgment, righteousness and care for us.
Our Lord Jesus Christ has walked on this earth in a manner which purchased redemption for lost sinners. He shed His innocent blood that we might be saved. And having placed trust in the blood of Christ for our redemption, how can we not place our trust in God in every time and place?