Your Different Thinking
Physical and emotional pain have a way of changing our brains. It’s why getting burned changes how we think about fire. It’s how a difficult diagnosis changes a lifestyle, often creating passionate advocates in the fight for a cure. When painful realities enter our bodies, or the bodies of people we love, they change our thinking forever.
Peter experienced this firsthand, especially as it related to his thoughts about suffering. In Matthew 16, Jesus predicted His own suffering and death. Peter then took Jesus aside and basically reprimanded Him! Then, Jesus looked at Peter, and said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.” (Matthew 16:23 NLT) Wow. Later, as Peter watched Jesus suffer through the crucifixion, he denied Him, fearing for his own life. Yet, something about these painful experiences changed Peter.
Painful experiences often lead to powerful passion.
When Peter wrote about suffering in 1 Peter 4:1, he wrote as a man with a new outlook on suffering. When he described suffering, he used the same word, páschō, that Jesus had used with him in Matthew 16. Peter used this same word throughout 1 Peter, and it’s where we get the modern word “passion.” Páschō is why we refer to Jesus’ trial, crucifixion, and resurrection as the Passion. Painful experiences often lead to powerful passion.
Jesus’ physical pain, His páschō, should be the basis of our passion. Jesus’ death and resurrection has the ultimate power to change our thinking, and in turn change our behavior. This is why Peter started his fourth chapter like this, “Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin.” (1 Peter 4:1 NIV)
Done with sin. That’s what the Passion of Jesus can do. What sin in your life are you ready to be done with? What injustice are you ready to fight?
As you read 1 Peter chapter 4 today, ask God to show you how Jesus’ physical pain and passion can change your thinking, giving you the resolve to be done with sin. Also, ask God to show you how to pray for people around the world who are suffering physical and emotional persecution for their faith. Finally, if you’ve been persecuted for your faith, know that you have company in your páschō with Jesus.
Pray: Jesus, thank You for Your suffering and passion to set me free from sin. Thank You for giving me a reason to live passionately for You. And I ask You, Jesus, to be a present comfort and help to people who are persecuted for their faith. Amen.