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Suffering for Good's Sake


1 Peter 4.1-2
Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.

What’s your view of suffering? Would you say that suffering is actually beneficial for you as a believer? Peter, since the midway point of the last chapter, has been describing this view of suffering for Christ’s sake, and the start of 1 Peter 4 is the culmination of his writing on this topic. The idea that Peter is going for in the first verse is that believers are to arm themselves with the intention to suffer, but not just for any reason, to suffer for doing right rather than doing wrong.

Peter uses militaristic language to make his point by using the phrase “arm yourselves with the same way of thinking.” The point is that believers need to arm themselves with this attitude that suffering is inevitable; just as it was for Christ so shall it be for believers as well. Like soldiers preparing for battle, believers should arm themselves with the mindset of suffering. For as the example that Christ taught us, it is better to suffer for doing right than doing wrong. This commitment to suffer for one’s faith I believe reveals a passion for a new way of life, a life that is willing to do the will of God more than committing sinful acts that go against the will of God.

As we look at our country and world right now, we see that they seem to be calling good evil and evil good. This was a warning from the Old Testament prophet back in Isaiah 5.20: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!”

It seems that this is where our world is headed, and with this will come the temptation to skirt the line of doing evil versus doing good to avoid suffering, even for the believer. But Peter is calling us to the standard of Christ even when faced with the temptation of doing wrong over doing right. The believer will choose, if necessary, to choose to do good over evil, even if he or she faces suffering because of it. The result of this is doing the will of God.

So how are you doing with suffering right now? I pray that this thought today will encourage you in the days, weeks, and months ahead to always strive to do the will of God even in spite of personal suffering. May God richly bless you today.

In Christ’s Service,

Cody Ragland
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