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Swimming Against the Tide (1 Peter 4:1-2)

Posted by Pastor Benny Liew on

Our Best Thought is a weekly devotional thoughtfully penned by leaders in DUMC arising from their daily devotions. The devotional’s title, “Our Best Thought” is taken from the hymn, “Be Thou My Vision” as a reference to God: “Thou my best thought, by day or by night.” Publishes on Sundays.


Scripture

“Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.”

1 Peter‬ 4:1-2‬ NIV‬‬

Observation

Peter wrote to God’s people who were dispersed throughout the provinces. His aim was to remind all believers that they have been bought not by gold or silver, but by the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ, who gave them an inheritance of eternal value.

Therefore, although in this life they may suffer grief in all kinds of trials, if they persevere and obey God’s command, they will indeed be a chosen people, the royal priesthood, the holy nation that will carry the light of Christ into the dark world.

Application

This passage reminded me of the ways of the salmon, swimming against the tide from the sea to rivers in order to spawn. They go through this hardship to ensure that their offspring will have the best chance to live.

Through this Scripture passage, I am reminded that as a follower of Christ, I may sometimes feel as though I am swimming against the tide whenever I live a life of goodness that God has called me. Swimming against the tide may bring suffering, but obeying God’s will brings an eternal reward to life.

I remind myself of this lesson with a simple acronym, FISH.

F for Freedom. I have received freedom from God. However I must not use my freedom as a cover up for evil. I need to live as God’s slave, showing proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God and honor the authorities.

I represents Inner Beauty. Both husbands and wives must consider their inner self when relating to one another. For me, I must learn to respect my wife and treat her as my co-heir of God’s kingdom so that nothing may hinder my prayers or the ministry of the Lord.

S reminds me of Suffering. If I should suffer, I should suffer for doing what is good and right rather than of evil. For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring me to God.

Finally, H is for Holiness. Peter reminded me not to live like the pagans do and that included my attitudes and conducts of not living in malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, slander, debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and idolatry. I must learn to no longer live in ignorance and conform to my own sinful desires but strife to live in God’s holiness.

Response

Dear Lord, thank You for dying on the cross for me. You freed me from the wrath of eternal damnation, restoring my inner self-worth and set me apart with your church to be co-heir of Your kingdom. May I be obedient to Your Word as Your Holy Spirit leads me to live a life of holiness. Help me to swim against the tides of the broken world and towards Your glory and purpose.

In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Pastor Benny Liew is Zone Pastor for PJ South 1.

Our Best Thought is a weekly devotional that follows DUMC's Bible Reading Plan. Posts on Sundays.