Willing to Suffer

Posted on February 22, 2023 by Elizabeth Welte in Victory Call

“…whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin…” 1 Peter 4:1

As I read through 1 Peter and came to the above phrase and caused me to lift an eyebrow. What does that mean?

The ESV study note offers 3 considerations of which I will focus on the third today because I believe it is supported by other Scripture and we should never take a verse in isolation to the rest of the book or the whole counsel of God. (Acts 2:27)

The commentator writes, “More likely, Peter’s point is that when believers are willing to suffer, the nerve center of sin is severed in their lives. Although believers will never be totally free from sin in this life …, when believers endure suffering for the sake of Christ they show that their purpose in life is not to live for their own pleasure but according to the will of God and for his glory.”  (I)

When I hear the word suffer I think of consequences: whether my suffering is a consequence of my own sin, or a consequence of another’s sin, or simply because we live in a fallen world as in cases of sickness and disease.

The idea of being willing to suffer, as the commentator indicates, well that’s a different story. By nature, don’t we flee suffering?  When we are in it, we are seeking to get out of it. ‘Tis true, but the suffering Peter is speaking of is a not a consequence of sin but rather of obedience.

“Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.’” Matthew 16:24

By denying ourselves we suffer the loss of having our own way.

In choosing to abide in Christ and to follow Him in obedience we will suffer in the flesh to live according to the Spirit.

“For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh,” for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. Gal 5:17

For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” Romans 8:13

And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” Gal 5:24

“In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” Hebrews 12:4

These Scriptures shed light on 1 Peter 4:1—to choose obedience to God we must choose death to our flesh. Only as we suffer in our flesh will we cease from sin and have victory in obedience.
Praise God there is hope in the Person of Christ and power of the Gospel.


Written by Diane Hunt: Diane Hunt serves on the board of America’s Keswick and is the Executive Director & CEO of Changed Choices, a Christian non-profit in North Carolina. She is also a biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event please contact her at dhunt@americaskeswick.org.

Think About This: “When you realize God’s purpose for your life isn’t just about you, He will use you in a mighty way.” – Dr. Tony Evans

The Daily Bible Reading: Numbers 2-3. You can download our 2023 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here. 

This Week’s Verse to Memorize: “I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever; With my mouth will I make known Your faithfulness to all generations. For I have said, ‘Mercy shall be built up forever; Your faithfulness You shall establish in the very heavens.’” Psalm 89:1-2

Want to get away & have dedicated time to read & learn God’s Word?

Consider a retreat at America’s Keswick retreat center.


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