Jesus suffered for us when He died for our sins on the cross (1Pet. 3:18), and in His suffering He taught us to suffer patiently during times of persecution and ill-treatment (1Pet. 2:20-23). And since Christ suffered, we, who are His followers, should expect to suffer for righteousness’ sake. We must, therefore, arm ourselves with the same mind or attitude that Christ had in the midst of His suffering (1Pet. 4:1-6).
Suffering is a common experience to humankind, to those in the flesh, but Peter is referring to the suffering endured by Christians, by those who follow Christ. He makes that clear when he writes, “for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin” (4:1). Christians suffer in a world cozy with sin because they have made a break with it. They have ceased from sin in terms of stopping their sinful practices and instead practicing the will of God (4:2-3). Some in the world think it strange that Christians do not live the same sinful lifestyle they do (4:4). They speak evil of these followers of Christ, and on occasion may even harm them in other ways. Peter encourages us to remember that they will give an account to God (4:5-6). In essence, to arm ourselves with the mind of Christ Who committed Himself in His suffering to Him Who judges righteously (2:23). Christ endured patiently His suffering, and so must we, because God will someday repay those who persecute His people (2 Thess. 1:3-6).