1 Peter 1 Lesson

Hope and suffering

Today we will begin our 5-day study of 1 Peter. In this epistle, the apostle Peter writes about persecution, suffering and how Jesus is our perfect example. Just as Jesus was persecuted, suffered, and raised to glory, we should not be surprised when we suffer.

1 Peter is an important and practical epistle. We need to understand what God’s inspired word has to say about suffering. The Bible tells us that we all are going to experience suffering in our lives. It also tells us that the suffering will not last forever. Peter writes:

“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.

Later, in chapter 4, we find one of the most powerful verses in this epistle:

“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.

What Peter is talking about here is no small commitment. He is writing about going, “All-in.” He is writing about entrusting our souls to God and living to do what is right.

Peter explains that once we make the decision to fully commit ourselves, we obtain an inheritance that:

  • Is imperishable.
  • Is undefiled.
  • Will Never fade away.
  • Is reserved in heaven for us.

As we read chapter 1, it is useful to put the timing of Peter’s letter into proper context. 1 Peter was written approximately 60+ years after Jesus’ resurrection. Peter writes simultaneously about suffering and hope. Suffering and hope have an interesting relationship. When one has reached a point in their lives where they are suffering, and at the same time filled with hope, they are demonstrating a mature faith.

It is our hope in Jesus that allows us to get through the hard times.

The Apostle Paul spoke often about hope in his letter to the Romans:

  • “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.

Knowing that the hope that we have in Jesus will never fade away is a tremendous blessing. And while it is indeed a tremendous blessing, God will not force this blessing upon us. Instead, He gives us freewill to decide whether we are going to accept this precious gift.

Peter's phrase "after a little while" is significant. Our suffering is only temporary; "a little while." It may not always seem like it at the time, and amid the trials we can be discouraged into thinking that it is permanent. The important thing is not to give up or do something drastic. The "little while" gives us hope!

Peter understands how difficult navigating through life’s temptations can be. He encourages us with his inspired writing. As you read through this epistle, be mindful of how many times Peter talks about suffering and hope.

For more study on the related subjects of suffering and hope, click on any of the links below.

Suffering

Suffering and comfort

Suffering is to be expected

Suffering. Bad things will happen to good people

Suffering and spiritual development

Suffering: Jesus' example

Hope

Hope and faith

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

“Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, 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 1:13-16.

Comments

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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?

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Michael
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!

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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.

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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.

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Dan W

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

Reply
Mustang

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!

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