Questions are taken from John MacArthur's study guide on 1 & 2 Peter, Courage in Times of Trouble.
Page numbers are indicated for those of you who are following along in your own study guide. Ü
- Why do you think God allows suffering and trials in our lives (MacArthur, 29)?
In Mark 13:13, Jesus says we can expect to be hated for His name's sake. I think we (Christians in America) have become "cushiony" overall. We focus so much on the blessings of faith - which is good, as we discussed in the first part of our study. But we can't be oblivious to the fact that we will face affliction and we mustn't enter into suffering unprepared for the difficult blow it could have on our faith (see MacArthur, 29, last paragraph).
I won't pretend to fully understand the topic of suffering.
I know that, when endured, suffering grows our faith.
I know that suffering provides a means to share a unique intimacy with Christ that we wouldn't have if not for suffering.
Peter shares a practical step to overcoming affliction, which starts with honoring Christ in our hearts (1 Peter 3:15).
- How do we do this (MacArthur, 32)?
- What would it look like?
In this week's reading, we're reminded that undeserved suffering will be blessed (1 Peter 3:14, 16-17). Last week's reading in 1 Peter 2:20 pointed out, "For what credit is it if, when you sin and [suffer] for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God."
- In what ways is the suffering Christians face today similar to Christ's suffering?
- In what ways is it different (MacArthur, 32-33)?
Paul suffered like one who had the mind of Christ (1 Peter 4:1-2). He faced and endured many severe trials because he was serving the Lord and teaching others about Christ.
- How do you think Paul felt as this was happening (See 2 Corinthians 11:22-33, MacArthur, 33-34)?