“When your body suffers, sin loses its power.” (1 Peter 4:1 LB)
As you and I grow closer to God, one of two things happens: God burns out of us everything contrary to the essence of His spiritual and holy nature, or our resistance to this process puts our relationship with God in a spiritual “deep freeze.”
Years ago I visited a man who had just experienced a five-artery bypass operation after suffering a massive heart attack. Involved in much sexual immorality before he became a follower of Christ, he had sought my counsel frequently regarding his continuous battle with a sexually impure thought-life. When I arrived at his room in the hospital, he extended his hand to me from his oxygen tent and said, “I haven’t had a sexual thought since I entered this hospital!”
What he said reminded me of that part of the verse quoted above by the Apostle Peter, which tells us that sin can sometimes lose its power when we are suffering. If people were transparent, many would acknowledge the reality that their loving heavenly Father has kept them from much sin by permitting many shades and grades of suffering and limitations. According to the book of Hebrews (12: 29), and the first letter of the Apostle Peter, God sometimes uses suffering to diminish sin and increase the share of His holy nature with His children.
If a large block of ice and a blowtorch came together slowly one of two things happens: the blowtorch can melt the ice or the ice can extinguish the blowtorch. God knows His business is to prepare us for heaven. He is a consuming fire that sometimes uses suffering to do that business.