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The Good Kind of Suffering

January 20, 2024

 

          I just looked at the date and realized that it has been a year since I started this series on 1 Peter. I plan on completing it, even if it takes another year.

          I also realized that it had been several months since I had posted an entry. I will say that I was thrown off track getting my children’s book, Matt, Sam, and the Swimming Rock, ready for publication. Then, I took Advent off as a well-needed break and chance to really dive into the season through Scripture. And what a blessing this past Advent season has been for me. I have never focused on it the way I did this time and what a lift it provided for my soul.

          Now, it is over halfway through January and it is past time to get back into my routine. So, where were we?

 

Christ’s Example

 

October 15, 2022

1 Peter 2:20-22

 

Take Time to Pray

 

Psalm 71:14-16

14 But as for me, I will always have hope;

          I will praise You more and more.

15 My mouth will tell of Your righteousness,

          of Your salvation all day long,

          though I know not its measure.

16 I will come and proclaim Your mighty acts; O Sovereign LORD;

          I will proclaim Your righteousness; Yours alone.

 

Examine

 

20 But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. 21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps.

22 “He committed no sin,

          and no deceit was found in His mouth.”

 

Notice

 

God

·       God gave us Jesus as our Savior and as an example on how to live our lives.

 

Lesson

·       Suffering justified punishment is expected and nothing to brag about making it through.

·       Suffering like Jesus brings us closer to Him.

·       Suffering like Jesus requires faith in Jesus, and shows our faith in Jesus.

·       God has not promised a life free of trouble. In fact, He said we would have trouble.

·       Suffering like Jesus makes the world ask why we are different.

 

Do

 

Question

·       What do I look like when suffering?

·       How can I look more like Jesus?

  

Response

·       I try too hard. I want people to know I am suffering, so they can see I am different. Self-serving and whiny. Although, I do have my moments where people say I am strong. I also have moments when I remember to give credit to God.

·       Stop seeking attention. No more calling out, so to speak, “Look! I am suffering, but I am suffering like Jesus.”


January 22, 2024

Jesus knows what it means to suffer. He took on the form of man and suffered all the things that humans suffer AND He did it perfectly. We, on the other hand, struggle with our behavior and attitudes when suffering. Instead of enduring it like Christ, with dignity, humility, and grace, we whine and complain and ask "why is God doing this to me."

I have learned, slowly I admit, that asking "why" is not what God wants us to spend our energy on. He wants us to except our circumstances and, as Jesus did, say "Thy will be done." It is not for us to understand the "whys" of this world. I believe many of them we are not capable of understanding due to our limited human minds. It is for us to demonstrate Christ's manner of suffering so that the world wonders why we are different. It is for us to acknowledge to others that we are not making it through the hard times by ourselves, but that we are relying on God for our strength. When we are experiencing the hard times that always happen, we are to focus on our blessings and find Joy in knowing all that God has done for us and will do for us.

Now, God doesn't necessarily want us to sit still and do nothing. If there is something that we can do that is God-pleasing then we need to do it. If the situation is completely out of our control, then God wants us to trust Him.

May we always find joy in our Lord, Jesus Christ, no matter what the world does to us.

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