05 Aug Option #2: You Can Suffer and Serve
1 Peter 4:7-9 – The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.
We see history in terms of days, weeks, months, years, decades. God sees history in terms of events centered around His Son like the first and second coming of Christ to the earth. Since we are in between those two final events in history, “the end is at hand” and in light of judgment day, Peter says that when we are suffering, we should not excuse it by sinning but instead invest it in serving. To do this we must exercise dominion over our:
- Will: self-controlled
- Mind: sober minded
- Soul: prayers
- Heart: love one another, show hospitality
- Tongue: don’t grumble, do cover sins in love
The Holy Spirit who empowered the life of Jesus to respond to suffering with serving rather than sinning is also available to enable you to do the same, even on your worst days. When other people are suffering and choosing to sin rather than serve, if you choose to serve them, you are covering the sinner in love and helping them come to Jesus for Him to also serve them. What Peter is not referring to here is covering crimes, or ignoring evil, as he told us earlier in 1 Peter 2:16 to not “cover up evil”.
In the context of 1 Peter, when people are suffering if they choose to respond by sinning, they are self-destructing by adding to harm they are experiencing the additional harm of foolish decisions which multiply the problem and the pain. Since we know that we caused Jesus to suffer, and that His response was to serve us in love, we can join Him in doing the same by loving the person who is suffering and sinning. The way this happens is by choosing to not include anyone who is not part of the solution.
This is the difference between secrecy and privacy. Secrecy is when we are hiding something from those who need to know to be part of the solution. Privacy is when we are only involving those people who can be part of the solution and not including others who would only cause more problems. Example would include dragging unhealthy friends into an issue, pulling the extended family into personal matters, or perhaps worst of all posting on the internet to invite the universe to air their opinion and insert themselves where they are unhelpful.
Which of the 5 things listed above do you most struggle to exercise dominion over, 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!