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How Complete Surrender Helps With Suffering {What I’m Learning From 1 Peter 4}

I do not like to suffer. At all. That’s why I’ve always wanted to be a runner but have never actually done it.

Godseternityisbetter

But Peter seems to have this obsession with hope in such a real and crazy way that according to him, suffering is just part of life as a follower of Jesus Christ. (It’s actually the Holy Spirit using Peter to say this, but . . .)

And this is what I am learning through 1 Peter chapter 4.

Suffering for following Christ, he says, is actually an honor, reason to rejoice. It gives deeper cause for celebration when the hope of Jesus’ return becomes reality. It’s called living hope. Hope for living.

If you are ridiculed for the name of Christ, you are blessed . . . (1 Pt. 4:14)

I wonder if Peter recalled those pre-dawn moments as he wrote this. Did he play out in his mind a different ending to that interaction with the slave girl outside the courtyard where Jesus was being beaten? Did he wonder what might have happened if only he had entrusted himself at that time to His faithful Creator? How would he have done differently if only he had clung to that living hope?

It’s possible, you know. To live according to this all-consuming hope. To suffer through even the most horrifying trial and persecution.

It’s possible because what God has for us in eternity is way better than any comfort we might enjoy here on this side of it.

Hard to imagine, though. I mean, I like comfort. I like easy and nice and can’t-we-all-just-get-along. And I don’t want to face icky and hard and fiery trials. (Yes, as a matter of fact, I did just use the word icky in a theological discussion. You are welcome.)

That’s when it comes back to that whole complete surrender thing. It just keeps coming back to that.

Complete and utter surrender to God’s ways, His hand, His mercy, His life. It’s all about surrender. This summer. This year. This life. It’s all about surrender.

Because when I am living entrusted to my faithful Creator (v19), I am okay with whatever may come. When I honor Jesus Christ as Lord in my heart (3:14-15), I am more than just okay, I can rejoice in the fact that He knows what I need and is somehow blessing me through it. 

So what do you think? There is so much depth and hard stuff here in 1 Peter. Let’s talk it out. Let’s ask questions and help each other find God’s truth in it.

2 Thoughts on “How Complete Surrender Helps With Suffering {What I’m Learning From 1 Peter 4}

  1. My girl! I love this blog. A lesson that is constantly on the forefront of my mind is what James 1 says; (Paraphrasing, of course) if suffering makes you cling to Christ, then we should welcome suffering. Of course, James was talking about suffering in our life, but when you truly think about suffering, whether in the name of Christ or in our life, it SHOULD make us CLING that MUCH harder to our Savior…So why not welcome it.
    AND what is even better is that during THAT suffering, CHRIST is RIGHT THERE, next to us, Holding us in His arms. =) Miss you!

  2. What an absolute pleasure to meet you and your precious girls! I only wish I would have gotten to know you a bit from your website first…wow, the conversation would have gone deep! Oh well, it’s probably better that I didn’t know you at all…I would have monopolized your time even more! THIS is a beautiful website, and I do look forward to soaking it up. Thank you!

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