Many of us cannot stand suffering. We worry, we fret, we complain. But what should be our attitude as Christians? Today we shall study a passage that shows how we can cope with trials and suffering.
II. BIBLE READING
1 Peter 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, insanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 receiving the end of your faith– the salvation of your souls. (NKJ)
If you think about Peter, he was the person who denied Jesus Christ 3 times. But at the end of his life, he was crucified like Jesus Christ but only up side down. We all know that Peter failed in the early years of his life but later he became mature and even death he willing to accept for Jesus. God was glorified by his life because through trails and sufferings for Jesus sake, he persevered.
What about us? Let us study the Word of God through Peter so we all grow more in maturity specially during trials in our lives.
A. Our Salvation Reminds us our Hope, Faith and Love during Sufferings (vv. 1-5)
- Who wrote this letter and how did he describe himself?
- In verses 1 and 2, how did he describe the people to whom
he wrote? How did each way he described them meet a need they probably had as refugees? What identity did these people have? (v. 1) Who chose them? What destiny did these people have? (v. 2)
How does this give meaning to their lives?
To whom should they be loyal and obey?
In what ways are we also like refugees, and in what ways do the above apply to us?
- In verses 3 to 5, how did Peter describe the salvation of Christians? What was his attitude?
Describe the blessings/inheritance reserved for Christians. How are they different from the earthly riches that people aim for and strive for?
- In verses 9, what sustains us when we meet trials and suffering?
a. Hope (vv. 3,4,5,9)
b. Faith (v. 7)
c. Love (v. 8)
These are the three great pillars of the Christian faith (I Corinthians 13:13). How are these three interrelated?
B. Suffering Refines us Like Gold (vv. 6-8)
1. Verses 6 and 7 address the subject of suffering directly. Why do we meet trials and sufferings?
2. During times of trials and suffering, does our faith endures? Do we bring praise and glory and honor to our Lord? Why or why not?
3. What are the possible reactions when we meet trials and suffering and what are the consequences of such attitudes?
4. From the text that we are studying, what should be our attitude when we meet trials and suffering?
4. How can we rejoice when we meet trials and suffering? Give examples from our daily lives to illustrate this point.
NOTE: Let everyone answer this question.
How much do we love my Lord? Are we really willing to suffer for His sake? How do we apply this principle “SUFFERING YET REJOICING” in our lives?
Christians are not free from trials and suffering. These are actually good for us, for they test our faith and result in glory to our Lord. As we love God more and more, being sustained by the glorious hope He has given us, we will be able to rejoice as we suffer for His sake.