“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,” 1 Peter 4:1.
You may have to suffer in this life… .shocking, I know! You may be subjected to ridicule, manipulation, verbal lashings, hatred, lies or physical pain. And this comes as no surprise to the average human! We live in this world where unrighteous things happen day in and day out. So what do you think of it? What is your reaction?
You may be forced in your lifetime to run from danger, defend a life, forfeit possessions or freedom, bite your tongue and walk away. Are you up to the challenges?
Suffering is not a goal. It should never be a personal goal to suffer. Scripture even gives us a standard for suffering. “Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness sake, you will be blessed… .For it is better to suffer for doing God’s will, then for doing evil,” 1 Peter 3:14. For the believer, suffering should never come as a just consequence because we chose the wrong. Neither should it come because we sought to suffer. Suffering should come to us as a result of the choices of others. We suffer because they choose to ridicule, manipulate, lash out, hate, lie and physically abuse us. This could happen to anyone for any number of reasons.
However, the subject of this script is not suffering. It is about your mind. What do you think about in the midst of your suffering? I can tell you what I often think. Thoughts of unfairness. Thoughts of shame. Thoughts of anger… .sometimes thoughts of retaliation. Thoughts of despair. Thoughts of totally giving up. Thoughts of judging and condemning my opponent. Thoughts that Christ Himself had to face.
“But we have the mind of Christ” 1 Corinthians 3:16. We have been freely given the mind of the The One who has come to rescue Humanity from it’s way of thinking while in this world. We have been given the mind of One who was ridiculed, manipulated, lashed, hated, lied to and physical abused, and yet did not condemn. He did not take the head of His opponent. He gave His life instead. He trusted His Father with personal judgment. This is the mind we have been given. A mind that can rest in God’s fairness. A mind that is prone to deliver his or her opponent from condemnation, rather than distributing judgments. Whoever has this mind, in the midst of suffering, is done with sinning. Nothing in this mind will cause the bearer to act unjustly. They are willing to suffer and wait patiently for God to judge the matter, in His wisdom, in His time…
“Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for you were called, that you may obtain a blessing,” 1 Peter 3:9. Look for ways to save a life even when you are suffering…