Since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin.

1 Peter 4: 1

 

Purpose is an interesting thing to consider, for it influences everything that we do. We carry it with us each day of our lives. Purpose helps to set people apart from the rest of the animal kingdom, and its expression is one of the most important things that we have the privilege to do. When we purpose to do or to be something, we are exercising our greatest degree of control over the conduct of life, and it is a major contributor to our sense of freedom; thus, taking away the ability to make such personal determinations is a device that oppressors frequently use.

 

Jesus was fully aware of the sort of pain and anguish that He would endure while He was living among us as a man. Yet, from the very beginning of Creation, He planned for that time and He prepared to take on the suffering that needed to come His way. Even for Christ, this wasn’t easy. He still needed to set His mind, heart, and spirit in focused determination to follow the Father’s will and to do what He was called to do. The purposeful suffering of Christ has provided each of us with the possibility of escape from the oppressive tyranny of sin, and for Jesus, giving each of us this opportunity was more than satisfactory motivation to take it all on.

 

We, also, need to make up our minds and set our hearts on living in full acceptance of the great gift that Christ has given to us. We are still required to make the decision to suffer and to endure the pain and difficulty that will come our way through following Jesus. The real struggle, the one where the forces of Hell were brought to bear and focused on one man at a singular moment, is completed. We are asked to take account of our old, comfortable ways, and the fearful, protective, and defensive attitudes that we hold onto; then, we need to purpose to hang them on the cross of Jesus. If we will take one issue, thought, or attitude that is separating us from the full and total fulfillment of God’s will for us and recognize that Jesus has already suffered in order to put this one thing to death and surrender that part of our comfort to Christ, then we will be walking more fully in the center of Christ’s righteous will.

 

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