Welcome back to our online Inductive Bible Study on 1 Peter, “A Living Hope in Christ” by Jen Wilkin. We just completed Week Two of our study, “A Living Hope.” We dissected the first twelve verses of 1 Peter, and oh what powerful verses these were! God knows exactly what we need at just the right time.
My mother was just diagnosed with that dreaded “C” word….cancer… this past week. It can’t be! We lost my dad to cancer just three years ago. Why is God doing this? Why will he allow us to go through this suffering again?
Life on planet earth is not easy. It might be smooth sailing one day and life is great, and then the next day your world is crumbling all around you. Jesus told us we would have trouble in this world:
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NIV
Warren Wiersbe writes, “The trials of life test our faith to prove its sincerity. A faith that cannot be tested cannot be trusted. A person who abandons his/her faith when the going gets tough is only proving that he/she really had no faith at all” (Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Hopeful).
Peter tells us “that the tested genuineness of our faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:7
It’s okay to grieve during a painful trial. God gave us tears for a reason, and He collects every tear.
“You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle…” Psalm 56:8
I buried my head on my mother’s shoulder and sobbed and sobbed with the word “cancer” still echoing in my ears. I do not know what our future holds, but what I do know is that God holds our future, and we can have peace and joy in the midst of pain. How? Because Jesus overcame the world. Through His death and resurrection, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope (1 Peter 1:3). We will not be alone in this journey. God promises to be with us and never to forsake us Joshua 1:5.
Our suffering is not in vain. There is a higher purpose for suffering. It draws us closer to God and strengthens our faith muscles.
Where will you place your hope today?
Take heart that the God of our universe, creator of Heaven and Earth, is in control of your life and your circumstances.
BIBLE STUDY TIP: Write out Week 2 Scriptures (1 Peter 1:1-12) in your journal.
DIGGING DEEPER: Memorize 1 Peter 1:1-12
ASSIGNMENT FOR THE WEEK:
- Join a Small Group and fellowship with your fellow Bible students.
- Complete your study of Week Three, “The Believer’s Identity” 1 Peter 13-25
- Pray before you begin your study. Ask your resident Teacher, the Holy Spirit, to open your heart to wisdom and understanding to learn His truths.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR THIS WEEK (answer in small groups or post a comment below:
- In what sense are you and I “elect exiles”? How do you think Peter’s message will be relevant to us 2,000 years later and halfway across the globe? (Page 21)
- In what sense is our hope in God a “living hope?” What other forms of hope are there? How is our hope superior to other forms of hope? (Page 22)
- Our inheritance through Christ is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading. What are you seeking to inherit in this life? (Page 23)
- In what ways are you challenged to be more like the prophets of old? Like “those who preach the good news?” Like the angels described in 1:10-12. (Page 27)
- What impacted you the most within this week’s passage of 1 Peter? How has Peter challenged you to look beyond your current circumstances to a future inheritance? How has he encouraged you?