The Second Greatest Commandment
An Attitude of Suffering – Part VI
Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 4:1-11 (NLT)
Key Verses: 1 Peter 4:1-2 (NLT) 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.
Let’s pick up where we left off in yesterday’s devotional.
To stop chasing our fleshly desires in this life, we must replace them with the desires of God’s Kingdom. This boils down to prioritizing our lives around the Kingdom of God.
Matthew 6:33 explains how to live out biblical priorities where Jesus tells His followers to seek God’s Kingdom first.
After we put God first then He will supply the other things we need. Once we understand that God’s will for us is “good, pleasing and perfect” (Romans 12:2) then we truly want to put God and His values first in our lives.
It is a step of faith when we believe that when our circumstances seem bad, we know that God will make them good.
We like to say, in our evangelical circles, “God is good all the time, all the time God is good”. However, during tough times and negative circumstances, this is not easy to live out. We must cling to the promises of God’s Word and keep reminding ourselves that something good is coming out of our hurtful circumstances.
If we do not develop this attitude of suffering that we have been talking about in these past few devotionals, then it is impossible to truly seek the Kingdom of God first in our lives.
Putting the teachings and values of God’s Kingdom first means denial of the cravings of our flesh and that is a major aspect of our suffering.
There will be times that we see that other Christ-followers that feel free to do some things that we feel are wrong. When we feel that something is wrong for us, there is usually a good reason we feel that way. We must decide that no matter what others do, we will avoid judging them but stick to our own convictions.
The evil one often puts in our minds that we are losing out on things that others feel free to do. But we must remind ourselves of Jesus’s words in Matthew 16:26:
“And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?”
Even if we give up more than what is necessary, it is better to err on the side of self-denial.
Father, I know Your way is the best way to live this life. I want Your good, pleasing, and perfect will for my life. Please remind me that any suffering will be worth it all when I see what Jesus has prepared for my eternity. In Jesus’s Name, amen.