Peter tells Christians that we are to arm ourselves or equip ourselves with the mindset of Jesus Christ when it comes to our suffering in this world. (1 Peter 4:1)
In order to do that we need to understand the suffering of Jesus Christ. Let’s take a look at Isaiah 53.
According to this prophecy which occurred in the future and is now in the past but which applies to the Christian in the present, Jesus Christ endured tremendous suffering.
We can see these main occurances which Jesus Christ endured. Let’s break them down.
Jesus was despised.
This means that Jesus was not valued and seen as worthless. In other words who Jesus is and what he did for humanity is not respected and in fact is scorned by many people both in the past and today .
Since Jesus was despised why do we think that we should experience any better kind of treatment? Jesus himself said that the world hated him so don’t expect it to like us either. Are we armed with this mindset?
Jesus was rejected by men. Many people simply do not want Jesus Christ. They prefer their own ways.
Since Jesus was rejected because his values are not appreciated then we must also be armed with his mindset. We may not be liked or valued or accepted by those who are not disciples of Jesus Christ. It’s a given.
Jesus was afflicted. That means he had to endure pain, abuse, bullying and scoffing. He was beaten and murdered too. Are we armed with this mindset?
Now let’s look at some other things Jesus endured for our sakes. Isaiah 53 goes on to tell us that Jesus bore our sorrows, he endured shame, he bore our griefs, and he carried our burdens.
Galatians 6: 2 tells us to bear one another’s burdens. This means that when we are armed with the mindset of Jesus Christ we come alongside our brethren like he did and help them carry their burden. Whether it’s in prayer, giving, ministering, helping, or serving.
Paul tells us that when we consider our sufferings in this world to be unworthy of the glory that will be revealed in us we can see a positive outcome of all this suffering we endure. Our sufferings are not because God is a sadist but rather the suffering we endure for the present if we are armed with Jesus Christ’s mindset have both eternal and present benefits. Let’s check it out.
Jesus bore sorrow, pain and grief for our sake so that through his affliction he could bring us healing. Jesus was wounded so that through his stripes we could recieve forgiveness ,healing and restoration.
He endured the cross and the shame so that he could bring many out of darkness and make them his children. When we are armed with this mindset we can endure our sufferings for the benefit of others.
Maybe enduring a mean person at work or rejection by your family. Enduring name calling and bullying by class mates who are not Christians or even having to give up your pay check to help a relative in sickness or give up your life to be a witness for your faith.
These are just some examples of what a Christian may have to endure to represent Jesus Christ in this world and share the gospel to the lost.
Jesus suffering brought us not only salvation but righteousness and justification. He suffered in patience and endurance because he knew what the outcome would be. Armed with Jesus Christ’s mindset on suffering we learn to be patient and wait for a good outcome too.
No suffering in this life is pleasant scriptures tell us BUT it is working out a far greater work of glory. In heaven we will be rewarded and sometimes even here we will reap the benefits but do you know what the best part is? It brings honor to the Lord! (Hebrews 12:11)
Think about that! When we patiently endure and pray then God walks through the suffering with us (Isaiah 43:2) He helps us carry our burdens and with joy we can bear them.
The beneficial outcome will come in God’s perfect timing. Just continue to trust him for faithful is he who has promised. (Psalm 34:19)