Arming Myself Against Hard Times
This week, we've shared a lot of death-related miracles and testimonies on the Blog. We hope they've uplifted you instead of doing the opposite.
It's not fun to think about hard times we've been through, but it's astonishing to see how God takes that suffering and pulls a testimony out of it.
The other day, I read 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."
I love the verbiage in verse 1: "arm yourselves likewise with the same mind."
What do people in hurricane and tornado country do when the weather alert starts blaring? They secure the house like a fortress. What does a law enforcement official do when he's in a sticky situation? He calls for backup. What does a soldier do before he steps onto the battlefield? He arms himself.
Sometimes I feel like it's the same way with us. We get the cancer diagnosis, the rejection letter, or the pink slip, and we know we're in for a doozy of a storm. Instead of melting in fear, I need to arm myself with the mind of Christ.
Doing this allows me not only to hold on but to fight back.
I need to fasten the doors and windows of my faith so that a storm doesn't blow them out, put on the bulletproof vest of righteousness, and call my beloved brothers and sisters to stand by me.
If I'm supposed to arm myself with the mind of Christ, then it's only logical to ask, "What was in Christ's mind when He suffered in the flesh?" What struck me that day when I was reading 1 Peter was that Christ willingly suffered for my benefit. It wasn't pointless. There was a purpose. Even if I can't see it, I need to believe there is a purpose for the pain, even if the answer is as nebulous as Isaiah 55:8-9. I don't want to wade through all that suffering only to come out testimony-less on the other side.
Another thought: When Christ suffered, He was doing away with sin's eternal grip once and for all, and He wants me to be free of that grip in this life as well as the next. I can claim Christ's cleansing blood on my last day, but am I going to "cease from sin" and live to the will of God right now? If all that suffering hasn't helped me clean up my act a little, then I think I've missed something big.
I need to start being a disciple now. Not when things are once again going great for me. Not when God seems near or when He's playing nice. Now. In the thick of the battle, pushing through the hard times, gaining godly strength, and gathering my testimony.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.