A Perspective from Suffering
Got any volunteers for suffering? I don’t think anyone would request suffering, and yet it is suffering that can be the very tool that enables us to stop living for sin or self and to live for God. There is a perspective from suffering that is not easily gained, but those who see it understand the blessing that suffering brings into one’s life.
Bible Reading: 1 Peter 4-5
1 Peter 4:1-4
“Therefore, since Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same understanding—because the one who suffers in the flesh is finished with sin— 2 in order to live the remaining time in the flesh no longer for human desires, but for God’s will. 3 For there has already been enough time spent in doing what the Gentiles choose to do: carrying on in unrestrained behavior, evil desires, drunkenness, orgies, carousing, and lawless idolatry. 4 They are surprised that you don’t join them in the same flood of wild living—and they slander you. 5 They will give an account to the one who stands ready to judge the living and the dead.”
A Perspective from Suffering—Attitude
Our attitude determines how we walk through suffering. In my recent COVID hospitalization, I could have easily given in to fear or discouragement. But those emotions propelled me toward fighting by arming myself with the mind of Christ and digging deeper into God’s word. I could not fight the fight alone that suffering requires.
Suffering is not just about a person being strong. A good attitude will not get us through. Our mindset is renewed when we seek to adopt Christ’s mindset rather than our own. Ultimately, it is admitting our weaknesses and relying on God that makes us strong. And in the midst of suffering, there can be a reliance on God that sets us free from whatever else we were relying on. Notice I say “can be”. We do have a choice.
Suffering does not have to defeat us. Surrender to the LORD is our victory right in that place of sorrow or hardship. God is enough, friends!
A Perspective from Suffering—Gifts from Suffering
Those who arm themselves with the understanding that we will have struggles in this world and with Christ’s attitude as well as the word of God gain these gifts from suffering:
- They are finished with sin. I would say that we can drift from this place as comfort settles in again, but there is a perspective that suffering brings that has a lasting impression. We are not so motivated anymore for the things of this world.
- They live for God’s will, not sinful human desires.
- They stay on mission.
- Finally, they have peace. There is peace when we can see things clearly and no longer live just for the comforts of this world. Our eyes are opened. And God is our Rock.
A Perspective from Suffering—How to handle and how not to handle
1 Peter 4:12-14
“Dear friends, don’t be surprised when the fiery ordeal comes among you to test you, as if something unusual were happening to you. 13 Instead, rejoice as you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may also rejoice with great joy when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are ridiculed for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.”
- Don’t be taken aback by suffering. Don’t doubt God’s goodness. And don’t let it throw you into worldly thinking.
- Instead, choose joy.
- You might be persecuted. People might mock you. But God. He will bless you for it.
- Think eternally, not temporarily. Suffering will not last forever, but our redemption and peace will in Heaven.
Scripture of the Day: 1 Peter 4:19
“So then, let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust themselves to a faithful Creator while doing what is good.”
Do we trust God when we suffer? Really trust Him? Suffering messes with our mind. But we don’t have to let that happen. We can choose to think on God’s word and response to suffering and see what God accomplished in Christ and will accomplish in us. Suffering is never wasted.
A Perspective from Suffering—Final Strategies During Suffering
1 Peter 5:6-11
“6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you at the proper time, 7 casting all your cares on him, because he cares about you. 8 Be sober-minded, be alert. Your adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. 9 Resist him, firm in the faith, knowing that the same kind of sufferings are being experienced by your fellow believers throughout the world.
10 The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little while.11 To him be dominion forever. Amen.”
- Be humble during suffering. Don’t accuse or blame others. Accept it as discipline from a loving Father. He promises to use it for your good and His glory. (Hebrews 12:7, “It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?”)
- Pour out your cares and concerns to Jesus. Don’t complain about the, but cry out for God’s grace and strength. His grace is sufficient for us all.
- Be sober-minded. Don’t cave to sin just because life is hard. Press into God and His word and find strength.
- God promises to restore us after we have suffered.
𝗝𝗼𝗶𝗻 𝗺𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗕𝗶𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗥𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗣𝗹𝗮𝗻 𝗮𝘁 12 𝗽𝗺 𝗘𝗧.
Day #322: 1 Peter 4-5
𝒱𝑒𝓇𝓈𝑒 𝑜𝒻 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝒟𝒶𝓎: 1 Peter 4:19
“”So then, let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust themselves to a faithful Creator while doing what is good.”
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