1 Peter 4:1: 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
There is a key word for us in this verse. The word is "therefore." What's it there for? Peter is saying, that based on the fact that Jesus Christ has suffered in his body and rose victorious from the grave we should have the same attitude that he had. Our approach to suffering is not to fear it or avoid it, but rather, to know that suffering cannot harm us.
Our way of thinking concerning suffering tends to be a desire to avoid suffering at all costs. We may even subscribe to a theology that expects God to deliver us from every type of suffering. This kind of theology cannot be found in Scripture. Does God deliver his people from all suffering? Yes, in death we are delivered from all suffering. In this life we will have trouble.
Peter says that whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin. He is saying that when we die we will cease from sin. That fact should remind us that even if we suffer to the point of death, it should not upset us. Death only releases us from sinning. We often think of the joys of heaven. Streets of gold, reunion with loved ones, true happiness. One of the greatest things about heaven is the absence of sin!
This verse reinforces the concept that suffering is part of God's will for his people. We will not avoid it, but we can more effectively endure it if we have the same way of thinking that our Savior had. This will not be easy, nor will it even be natural. We are going to have to rely on his Holy Spirit to help us to have the same way of thinking as our Savior.
Are you struggling with suffering? How is your attitude? It's understandable if you are having a hard time dealing with suffering. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you with your way of thinking. He is your helper.