1 Peter 4:1,2—Therefore, since Christ suffered in the flesh, equip yourselves also with the same resolve—because the one who suffered in the flesh has finished with sin—in order to live the remaining time in the flesh, no longer for human desires, but for God’s will.
I love the word resolve. As an action verb it communicates steadfast determination. It is not some wishy-washy, inconclusive, fair weather-based decision. You see the problem with our society today is that it is substantially resolve-deficient. God clearly defines sin. The world muddies His water. He established absolutes. Humanity fusses with His intent and fudges His will and, in consequence, condones rebellion. Mankind perfects the art of excuse-making and continuously trips over feelings. He distributes trophies to every participant oblivious that performance is sacrificed. She disallows any speech of conviction that might prick conscience or cause offense; incapable of seeing her selfish hypocrisy.
In contrast to people who will bow to anything, resolute believers bravely enter the king’s furnace and find fellowship. No saint ever inspired others because of mediocrity. Accordingly, Peter did not write that Jesus suffered so we could take a pass. He mentions suffering at least eighteen times in his letter to dispersed Jesus-followers. He knew that affliction was something to be embraced because of what it produced.
The Messiah left unsought power, recognition, wealth and possessions. He came resolved to do what His Father wanted and, by doing so, defeated sin and death. This is why those who determinedly abide with Him find His pruning so fruitful. And in this vine meet a family in Lima, Peru, who, as you read this, are demonstrating what it means to remain joyful through adversity.
Nine month-old baby Kalev daily fights for his life in the NICU. Javier and Patricia’s neurologist explained the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) which shows evidence of periventricular leukomalacia (PVL), the most frequent brain injury where there is a deficiency of blood supply in premature infants. The MRI further reveals that Kalev’s brainstem is abnormally short. This effects the vital functions of his little body. Because he requires a ventilator to breathe, Kalev doesn’t know what it means to go home to a dad, mom, sister and brother.
Patricia’s letter (I’ve italicized for emphasis) conveys the Ibañez family’s resolve:
Our long days at the hospital are exhausting and stressful emotionally and physically as we have to deal with different staff every day and not everyone is sympathetic. Kalev needs our love 24/7 to be stimulated and we are only giving him a few hours a day. We want to give him the quality of life he deserves surrounded with our love while waiting for the Lord to manifest His glory. As for us, we think this is the perfect condition for God to work in Kalev’s life making possible what is impossible for man -Luke 18:27.We are determined to keep believing in His Word . . .We are trusting in His love, power and faithfulness as He will always have the final word in our lives. . . There are up and downs in our daily walk but His Spirit is always reminding us to keep trusting.
Whenever I take the opportunity to actively love God in personal obedience, I end up sensing a new tenderness in my heart toward Him and a stronger resolve to obey again next time.—Martha Thatcher in The Freedom of Obedience
©2016 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)