““So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin. You won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God.”
1 Peter 4:1-2
Hope everyone had an awesome Tuesday!! My buddy Dillon sent me a message from deep in the Gold mine this morning while he was doing some serious Gold digging. (Not at all the same as how Kayne West refers to it) He said to check out 1 Peter 4 and I know if he just sends the verses without any words then it’s some of that speechless Gold which is very expensive. I checked it out as quick as I could and I just got to say, it’s crazy how God speaks through others to get your eyes on what He knows you need to see. Super thankful for the encouragement from my buddy because it was much needed. Seriously if you ever have any Gold to share, please send it my way. I always enjoy receiving it than sending it and I’ll be the first to tell you, I need all the Gold help I can get.
1 Peter 4. I don’t even know where to begin. Honestly I wanted to share the whole chapter but I’ll stick to the daily devotional instead of writing a book for y’all. This chapter that Peter writes is on Christian living and he focuses on the suffering that Christians will endure. I’ve noticed lately that I have been hitting on a lot of the “not so fun” parts of the Christian life, the struggle we go through on a daily basis. As much as I wanted to lighten the mood and make it more fun, these verses held me up seeing that it may not sound fun to hear about the daily struggles we face of temptation, overcoming sin, all the spiritual warfare but it’s the truth that God has written to us. It’s the life Christ has brought us into. In our eyes that sounds horrible, scary even, but Peter brings all the fun you’ll ever need into why out view of suffering is so backwards.
Christ went through an enormous amount of suffering while He was on this earth. Living a perfect life, walking out 33 years in human form and never, not once give into temptation. Even when the Devil offered Him everything that this world has to offer, money, power, pleasures, He still chose God over those tempting things. Not to mention He was fasting from food and water for 40 days in the desert during this, how could He be so physically weak and still say no? Then looking at the cross where He endured the worst kind of suffering imaginable, being nailed through His hands and feet, left there to die. On the cross with Jesus being perfect, that’s where He took on the sin of the the world, past, present, and future. He took it straight to the heart and He died a death He didn’t deserve for a people that are so guilty and deserving of it. Can you imagine? Why would He do that and how could He get through it? That’s so much pain, so much sin, and so much suffering. Yet He did it out of love for me and you. To take on all the evil in the world and defeat it so we could live in freedom and have a life where nothing or no one can hurt us.
Pretty daggum amazing that He did that and I can’t put into words how huge that is. I’ll be honest lately I’ve been going through some suffering of my own. I don’t say this so you’ll feel bad for me but I say this to show you how thankful I am for it! I’ve had to go lower than I’ve ever gone, give up some sin that I’ve been so accustomed to having in my life, and it’s hurt. There’s been times where I don’t understand it, I want to throw a pity party for myself and feel bad but the truth is there’s Christians and people in general undergoing so much worse in this world. My attitude towards it hasn’t been very good and you know when your attitude isn’t very good towards life then your life resembles it.
After looking at these verse it God finally hit me in all the places it hurt the worst and showed me just how GOOD this suffering is. If we call ourselves CHRISTians and strive to become more like Christ daily in a walk, then we should expect to go through similar suffering. It’s not to the magnitude of what He went through but we will suffer nonetheless. Becoming more like Christ means being less like us. Not changing who God made you to be but putting away that old sinful man and walking in the light of Christ’s righteousness. When we suffer we shouldn’t try to see it with our eyes but see it through the eyes of Christ. He was willing and He was constantly looking beyond the current pain to God’s purpose. When we move to a more Christ-like perspective on suffering, we can finally see that this may not seem fun and I’d much rather go my own way, enjoying the pleasures of life and living how I want to live. A Christ- like perspective seeing it in a faithful vision, we look past what we want, we look past the pain and sacrifice, God opens up our eyes to show us that He is doing an amazing work within us. With each moment of suffering, God is teaching you something. Maybe it’s patience, endurance, love, or whatever it is, He’s teaching you how to become more like Christ. I can’t imagine a better thing to be taught.
We may never completely give up sin in our lives but suffering for the sake of Christ, in the light of the sacrifice He made to give us the breathes of victory we have. Suffering for His name sake, God is molding us, shaping us, and He has a purifying effect to it that will increasingly free us from the power sin has in our life. He is teaching us how to live freely, in His will and for His will. It takes a lot of moments of being brought extremely low and experiencing some pain but at the end of the day He is taking us through the process of freedom. And I love what it says at the end of verse 1, “you have finished with sin.” That’s not saying you’re sinless and perfect but sin no longer holds you as a captive. Sin has no power over you, when you feel a temptation, you feel trapped, wrapped up in fear and worry, you look back at the suffering you’ve endured for Christ. Look at all that God has taught you and chipped away from your former weak and sinful self. Then you’ll see that this suffering was so worth it, Christ has shown you how to live in His high expectations, living in the victory that He’s won over sin and all of the devils evil schemes.
Living in my priorities and my perspective on suffering has only brought me deeper into the pit. Now I see the point of all the pain. I see why suffering contains so much of God’s goodness and I can live in the peace and joy He provides no matter how much it hurts. Living in His will is so much better than our own, seeing this life and suffering through His eyes changes the game completely. I can say thank you Lord for the trials, thank you for the pain and the times of being brought low. I’m excited to be molded, shaped, and taught. I’m excited for my perspective to be renewed by the Lord daily. I’m excited to live this life to the fullest of what God has for me and if you think that’s not much look at what He’s already sacrificed for you to give you His Son. He’s got so much more in store for each of us and I’m jacked to suffer with you!! Embrace the pain, you’ll be happy when Christ brings the change.