There is so much to say about suffering in this chapter, but I am afraid with school activities and deadlines I do not have the time to do it justice. Help me out! Share with us today what you learned from this chapter. Here are the verses I was drawn to today and a few initial and random thoughts about suffering faithfully.
So, then, just as the Messiah suffered in the flesh, you too must equip yourselves with the same mental armor. (4:1a)
Jesus had to suffer, so do we really think we will not? But suffering is more successfully faced when he prepare our minds to face it. It we run headlong into hard times clothed only with raw emotion, we should not be surprised when we come out cut, bruised and wounded.
Someone who suffers in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live the rest of their mortal life no longer according to human desires but according to God’s will. (4:1b-2)
Suffering trains the heart and equips us to overcome the weaknesses that allow sin to reside in our lives so easily. Suffering may be as pleasant as working out is for many of us, but it may also be as beneficial in the long run.
They will have to account for it [the curses of sinful people] before the one who is ready to judge the living and the dead. (4:5)
In the middle of all of this talk about suffering, Peter reminds us God gets the last word. Justice will come in the end.
Keep absolutely firm in your love for one another, because “love covers a multitude of sins.” Be hospitable to one another without complaining. Just as each of you has received a gift, so you should use it for ministry to one another. (4:8-10)
We can’t face suffering alone. We need the fellowship of others.
Beloved, don’t be surprised at the fiery ordeal which is coming upon you to test you, as though this were some strange thing that was happening to you. (4:12)
Suffering tests and reveals how genuine our faith really is. That can be a scary outcome. It can also be a blessing.
You are sharing the sufferings of the Messiah. (4:13)
It is one thing to benefit from the sufferings of Jesus. What an esteemed calling to also share in those sufferings, to actually be able to say we know a piece of what Jesus went through!