1 Peter 1 Lesson

Why God Allows Suffering

Today we will begin a 5-day study of 1 Peter. In this epistle, Peter writes about persecution, suffering, and Jesus' perfect example.

Many people ask themselves why God allows us to suffer. There are three reasons mentioned in the Bible.


  1. To discipline us. “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are punished by Him; for whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He punishes every son whom He accepts. It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?” – Hebrews 12:5-7.
  2. To teach us. “Consider it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you encounter various trials,  knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” - James 1:2-4.
  3. To shape us into the Christians that God created us to be. “Tribulation brings about perseverance and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” – Romans 5:3-5.

Adversity and suffering are important steps in the development of a Christian. The Bible tells us that all of us are going to suffer. It also tells us that any suffering we encounter will not last forever. And once we come through the other side of suffering, God will do four things:

  1. Perfect us,
  2. Confirm us,
  3. Strengthen us,
  4. And establish us!

  • “And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” – 1 Peter 5:10.

In chapter 4, Peter writes:

  • “Therefore, let those also who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.” – 1 Peter 4:19.

Peter is talking about going, “All-in.” He is writing about entrusting our souls to God and living to do what is right.

He explains that when we make the decision to fully commit ourselves to God, we obtain a precious inheritance. One that is imperishable, undefiled, reserved in heaven for us, and that will never fade away.

Peter wrote this epistle approximately 60 years after Jesus’ resurrection. He writes simultaneously about suffering and hope. Suffering and hope are key themes found in the Bible. If we can go through suffering and at the same time also be filled with hope, we are demonstrating a mature faith.


It is our hope in Jesus that allows us to get through even the grimmest times of our lives. Without it, we would be lost!

The Apostle Paul wrote about hope in his letter to the Romans. He wrote the following:

  • “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” - Romans 15:13.

  • “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” - Romans 15:4.

Notice how Paul does not only write about perseverance. He also talks about, “The encouragement of the Scriptures.” To have hope, we must not only persevere, but we must also remain in God’s Word. The encouragement that can only be found in God’s Word will sustain us and allow us to persevere through even the most difficult of circumstances.

Earlier, we looked at the following scripture:

  • “And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” – 1 Peter 5:10.

Knowing that the hope we have in Jesus is eternal is a tremendous blessing! And while it is indeed a tremendous blessing, it is not something that God forces on us. Instead, He gives us the free will to decide for ourselves if we are going to follow Jesus.


Peter's phrase "after a little while" is significant! Our suffering is temporary; "for a little while." In the heat of the moment, it may feel as if we will never see better days. We can become discouraged and fooled into thinking that our suffering is permanent. The important thing is not to give up hope!

Peter understands how difficult navigating through life’s hardships can be. As you read his epistle, be mindful of how many times Peter talks about the related topics of suffering and hope.

We will end today’s study with the following scripture:

  • “Do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’” – 1 Peter 1:14-16.


Virtual Bible Study

How can you apply what you have just learned?

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Virtual Bible Study

How can you apply what you have just learned?

Virtual Bible Study

When I am suffering, I can remind myself that it will only last for a "little while", and that heaven is for eternity!

Donna JesusFollower

The verse from 1 Peter 1 that stuck out for me was being reminded that we are redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, not the silver and gold from our futile way of life. We cannot trust in money or comfort, as it can fade so quickly. The love of God will never fade.

Sithembire shaba

Thank you so much for sharing with us such beautiful passage, may the good Lord help us to put the word into practice, we should all live it.

Dan W

Thank you for feeding our souls with God's good Word!


Amen! 1 Peter is my go to source when I need to be reminded what God has to say on the subject of suffering. Suffering is an important part of life. As the Bible says, it teaches us things that God wants us to know. It strengthens us, and helps us to glorify God, if we handle it in a Godly way. Thank you for this study!