In World War I, there was a condition where soldiers would mentally shut down after their minds and emotions could no longer process the violence and devastation around them. The condition was known as “shell shock.”
This is a condition where you have experienced so much trauma that you can no longer process any more difficult emotions, tragedies, traumatic experiences, etc. You just go on autopilot.
I don’t claim to be an expert in this area, and I cannot really describe the intricacies of this disorder. However, even a layman can observe the way people who are “shell shocked” tend to just shut down mentally and emotionally. They may continue the motions of life, but the thought and passion just aren’t there.
With the recent events in the U.S., and in my personal life, I have found myself a little “shell shocked.”
I have found myself unable to explore my own emotions and reactions to things. Thus, my writing has been hindered, and I have been unable to formulate coherent thoughts to post on this blog.
Thankfully, I am finding healing, and I will soon be able to share my thoughts on some of the horrible events to hit our nation recently.
This healing I have found has come through a study of the scriptures. My small-group has been studying through the book of 1 Peter. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is dealing with pain or struggling through life, because this book was written directly to people who are suffering.
Chapter 1 seeks to comfort those who are hurting, mourning and struggling by reminding them of the blessings they have as a result of their salvation in Christ. Oh, I skipped that part, did I?
Yes, 1 Peter was written to Christians who were suffering, particularly those enduring persecution at the hands of Nero and the Roman Empire. And while evangelical writing may not be your thing, the fact remains that any hope we have of going to Heaven, or eternal blessings, come through the Salvation what is freely given in Christ Jesus.
Peter brings this out in 1 Peter 2. He reminds us that Christ suffered for us, taking our sin upon Himself, that we can be freed and delivered from the judgment of God because Christ endured that for us on the cross. Christian doctrine teaches that this salvation is freely given by Christ to all who turn from their sin and trust Him to receive them into His Kingdom based on His work on the cross.
If you believe that your only hope for getting into Heaven is the death of Christ on the cross for your sins and His willingness to forgive you, then you have the proper faith for salvation. Profess that to others.
That’s the backdrop of 1 Peter 1. Peter is writing to people who have trusted Christ as their Savior. He is reminding them how Christ not only gave His life on the cross, but that the Lord diligently worked to bring them to the saving knowledge of the Lord. We also have the assurances that the Lord will receive us into Heaven and that our suffering will one day end.
In Chapter 2, Peter gives purpose to our suffering, which is basically for the purpose of bringing as many people to Heaven with us as possible. Toward the end of the chapter, the underlying theme becomes “Christ suffered for us, can’t we in turn endure hardness for Him?”
While an agnostic may feel that concept borders sadism, the fact is that our willingness to suffer empowers us to live out the challenges of life. Chapter 3 immediately turns the topic to marriage. If Christ suffered for us, can’t we in turn sacrifice for our spouse? If Christ suffered for us, can’t we in turn sacrifice for our friends and family?
It’s hard to make a living today, and parents often find themselves sacrificing their dreams in order to care for their kids. Young adults find themselves overwhelmed, trying to take care of an aging parent. There are no shortages of demands for self-sacrifice in living the typical 21st Century life, and there are no shortages of people who simply walk away from the responsibility.
But for those of us who stay in the “fight,” who continually struggle to care for family and friends in need, the struggle can become exhausting. Yet, Jesus endured all for us.
That reminder keeps me going. Christ endured all for me, so I can endure all for my family. Chapter 4 continues this thought pattern, and Chapter 5 relates it to our church life.
Someday, we’ll all overcome this together as we enter the Lord’s Kingdom. Until then, let’s endure together and keep each other encouraged.
Hit me up anytime on Facebook or Twitter. Or, come visit me at Life Point Baptist Church, 104 E Industrial in Early, TX, inside the Early Chamber of Commerce, Sundays at 10 am.