1 Peter 4:1-6 – 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. For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry.
There is an endless number of ways that you can suffer. Is your current suffering primarily physical, emotional, spiritual, mental, relational, financial, or something else?
When you are suffering, we can live out of the flesh or the spirit, Peter says. When we live by the Spirit, we welcome God to serve us and give us wisdom to help serve others. When we live by the flesh, we welcome sin and use our suffering to excuse our self-destructing.
When suffering and choosing the flesh over the Spirit, there is a tendency to become selfish and self-destruct. This is because when we are hurting, we can get so focused on our own pain that we overlook the harm we are doing to ourselves through our own poor choices, as well as the harm we are causing those who love us. This explains why some of the most hurting people are the most hurtful people. Peter says that this happens in the following ways:
- Sensuality – Where do you lack restraint (e.g. food, $, anger, tongue?)
- Passion – What evil desires dominate you?
- Drunkenness – Where are you prone to addiction?
- Orgies – What sexual sin entices you?
- Drinking parties – What social sins tempt you?
- Debauchery – What grotesque things are you fond of?
- Maligning – Which people do you enjoy causing to suffer?
When we are hurting, suffering can lead to sinning unless we remember Jesus. Long before we are a victim, we are a villain. Not only have others caused us to suffer, but we too have caused others to suffer, starting with Jesus’ suffering for our sin. Jesus’ response to our sin against Him was not to sin, but rather to serve, which is the option we will study next.
Which of the items on this list is most tempting to you, especially when you are suffering?
To download the free e-book ODD LIFE: Good God which is a study in 1 Peter for individuals, groups, and families from Pastor Mark click HERE. To listen to Pastor Mark’s 9 sermons on 1 Peter preached in the summer of 2020, click HERE. These and other resources are made possible by our ministry partners who support Real Faith as a Bible teaching ministry of Mark Driscoll Ministries to whom we say THANK YOU!