Text: 1 Peter 4:1-6
Theme: Suffering helps us be done with sin.
Key verses: “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. You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy…Of course, your former friends are surprised when you no longer plunge in the flood of wild and destructive things they do. So they slander you. But remember that they will have to face God, who stands ready to judge everyone, both the living and the dead.
What God said to me: Dwayne, consider it not strange the fiery trials that you are going through. This is what Peter writes in this chapter of his letter to the suffering saints. You shouldn’t be surprised either. I am still working on you to make you what you ought to be, to shape you into the image of my dear Son. I will not turn a blind eye to your sin and rebellious ways. Granted, the suffering Peter speaks favorably of here is suffering for the name of Christ. That is the kind of suffering that brings me the most honor. However, suffering of any type can either make you better or bitter. A trial is a trial regardless of the reasons for it. I am allowing you to go through some physical suffering with your sciatic pain to draw you closer to me. This too shall pass. I have more for you to do. Nonetheless, don’t look for the pressure and pain to subside immediately. Your obedience and brokenness is what I’m looking for. Like Jesus said to the cripple man, “Do you want to be healed?” Are you willing to do what is necessary? Are you willing to obey me without question? Once you have suffered and stayed faithful through your suffering, you will come out on the other side more mature and more done with sin than before. You will have had enough of your sinful habits and thoughts. I want to restore you and I will. I am able to keep you from falling and present you faultless before my glorious throne. That is your destiny. And part of your journey is learning to humble yourself and rely completely on me every moment of every day. You say you want to teach others about prayer. I am taking you to my school of prayer now through your suffering.
What I said to God: Wow Lord, thank You so very much for Your powerful Word today through Peter and Your Holy Spirit. I am forever grateful to You for loving me and not giving up on me. Hallelujah to the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world. I thank You for taking away my sin, for justifying me just as if I’d not sinned, and for staying committed to sanctifying me. What patience You must have. I love You. Help me love You more.