The Second Greatest Commandment
An Attitude of Suffering – Part VII
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.
Many years ago, I was going through a very tough time that challenged my faith and my strength. It was during this season of my life that God gave me a promise that I have never forgotten:
In His kindness God called you to share in His eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So, after you have suffered a little while, He will restore, support, and strengthen you, and He will place you on a firm foundation. (1 Peter 5:10 NLT)
This verse reminded me that my suffering was only going to be for a short time. And this verse promised me that God would restore me as well as support and strengthen me. Finally, this verse promised that this period of suffering would lead to placing me on His firm foundation.
This attitude of suffering that we have been talking about this month is not something that we must endure everyday of our lives. God knows each of us intimately and the strength we have. God promises never to give us more than our strength can endure.
Each time He said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-12 NLT)
Most of us can relate to Paul’s experience with the hardships and troubles we have in our own lives. The Apostle is reminding us that God watches and knows when our strength is gone. It is when our strength is gone that God steps in and supplies His power for us.
Another scripture that God inspired Paul to write is 1 Corinthians 10:13:
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure.
Note the last phrase. God will show us a way out; our suffering is not going to last forever!
If you are suffering today, take heart, God loves you and has already evaluated what you can take. God will be there when your strength is gone… rest in His promises!
Father, I praise You for watching over me, knowing when I need extra help from Your gracious hand. During my times of suffering, I will trust in You. In Jesus’s Name, amen.