1 Peter 4:1-2 “Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.”
“Is there not a cause?”
David responded to the chiding of his brothers with the very thing that stirred his heart. His God was being slandered in front of all Israel, and no man was stepping up to fight. He placed himself in front of that giant that day because he saw his God much bigger than any man on that field.
Peter felt it as well.
In this general epistle, he speaks to what it means to be in Christ. And for Peter, it was a long, arduous journey getting there.
Called from his nets to follow Jesus, Peter witnessed firsthand the miracles of the wine at Cana, the feeding of the five thousand, and the man with the withered hand. The dead were raised, the lame to walk, the deaf to hear, and the blind to see. Peter saw it all, and yet, he denied the very One he acknowledged as the Son of God.
Peter is the only other person recorded to have walked on the sea besides Jesus.
For us, in this day and age, we would think it enough evidence to bolster our faith to live zealously for God. Yet, in our passage today, Peter delineates the simple truth that every man needs to live truly.
Because Christ suffered for us, we should live for Him.
When you and I have a purpose, a cause much more significant than ourselves, we can give over the living of this life to the One who knows the beginning from the end. We must trust that God has our best interest in mind.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
Peter then shares with us more deeply what he found.
1 Peter 4:12-13 “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”
It is when we are going through a trial that we begin to question God.
So often, he doesn’t answer the “why,” but shows us how to go through. Sometimes, when we reach the end, we find a reason, but not always. It is then; we must genuinely give over to trust Him that it will work out for good.
Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
I’ve met saved folk who get frustrated when you quote that verse. I guess it comes down to who is in control. Faith is not so much ‘losing’ control as it is giving over control – wholly and totally.
Living a life of faith is truly living.
Living for worldly pleasure and gain will only lead to heartache and emptiness. Peter knew firsthand what that felt like. After the resurrection, Peter was overwhelmed with the guilt and shame of having denied the Son of God. He did not even feel worthy of being among the apostles. Also, when the angel came, he addressed them:
Mark 16:7 “But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.”
Satan was sifting him just as Jesus had foretold. Depression was setting in, and all Peter knew to do was to go back to where he started – fishing.
When he decided to go, other disciples followed. It tells of the influence Christ knew Peter would have over men. As they fished all night and caught nothing, Jesus shows up and calls out to them.
John 21:5 “Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No.”
It was John who recognized Him first and told Peter.
John 21:7 “Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea.”
What they went out in the world to find, Jesus had ready and waiting for them when they landed onshore. Jesus so lovingly and patiently brought Peter’s heart to realize his purpose. Three times he asked him:
John 21:17 “He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.”
In the events that led them up to that upper room, Peter allowed that truth to settle in his heart. He did love the Lord. Jesus just needed to guide Peter in the ‘how.’
For many of us, we get saved and apply what we know in how we think we should serve God best. Yet, God tells us often that we do NOT know, and that we must trust Him.
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.“
Psalm 32:8 “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.“
Today, allow your faith in God to take you to a new level in living. Follow the leading of the Holy Spirit to do the will of God, and you will experience no greater joy in life. You will have a blessed peace even through the fiercest of trials. God will give you the confidence to endure because you are trusting He has your back.
Live today with the knowledge that the gifts and talents you are given for His glory!
Find His will for your life and truly live!