SERIES: Trust and Obey
Week #4: Suffering in Exile
1 Peter 3:8-22
BOTTOM LINE: The suffering and victory of Christ is our example and source of hope as we suffer as exiles.
Peter addresses his readers in 1 Peter 1:1 as “exiles.” These exiles were facing difficult days. They lived in a place where, because of their commitment to Jesus, they were facing hardship and localized persecution. As we continue our study through this letter, we are going to look at how Peter challenged these believers to live and how they should face difficulty and times of suffering in their lives. We too, as followers of Jesus, need to hear this message. How are we to live in our day? How are we to understand and face suffering in our lives? In Jesus, we have both an example to follow and a source of hope for our lives as we suffer as exiles.
How Do Exiles Live?
- Love one another.
How Should We Face Suffering While in Exile?
- We should face suffering for the right reason.
- We should face suffering with the future hope.
- We should face suffering with the right fear.
- We should face suffering ready to give a gentle and respectful account.
How Does the Example of Christ’s Suffering and Victory Serve Us as We Face Suffering as Exiles?
- The example of Christ reminds us that suffering is to be expected.
- The example of Christ provides confidence in our future deliverance and victory.
- Are you living faithfully to Jesus where you are?
Begin your session with prayer and use the following questions/discussion to get the conversation started…
It’s been said often during these past months that this has been a “difficult season”. It’s been difficult for different people in different ways, but the fact remains, everyone has been affected in some way. How would you answer the following questions:
Q: What has been the most difficult part of COVID-19 for you so far?
Q: How have you seen this affect you, your family, or others in your life?
No matter what difficulty we’ve faced or will face in our lives, Peter encourages us to see Jesus as our source of victory and hope. Let’s talk more about the passage we studied this week and how we can apply it to our lives.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Read 1 Peter 3:8-22. Ask and discuss the following questions
Q: Look at 1 Peter 3:8-12. Peter gives specific instructions on how we as exiles should live. What does it mean to have “a tender heart, and a humble mind?” What does this practically look like in our day-to-day lives?
Q: Peter also tells his readers: “Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless…”. What does it mean to “bless” someone in this way? How have you seen this lived out in your life or the life of another?
Q: How have you faced difficulty for “righteousness sake” (vs. 14)? How did living for Christ bring difficulty and challenge to your life? How did you respond?
Q: Read 1 Peter 3:15-16. Believers are to be “prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do this with gentleness and respect…” Why do you think he included “gentleness and respect” to this instruction. What is the danger of defending our faith without these characteristics?
Q: Read 1 Peter 4:12. How does being reminded through Jesus that suffering is to be expected helpful in our life?
Q: How does Christ’s suffering give us confidence in our future deliverance and victory?
Q: What is your personal “take-away” from this week’s message? What is one specific thing the Lord spoke to you this week?
Q: What is your “action step” this week? How are you planning to apply what God has said to you?
One of the themes in Peter’s letter is that God uses suffering and difficulty for a greater purpose…it’s part of a much bigger plan. The challenge comes in how we view and respond to difficulty and suffering when it happens to us. One question that can help us in this, is to ask: What is God teaching me through this difficulty?
These past months have been difficult for everyone in their own way. But even this season of COVID-19 can be used by God for a bigger purpose in our lives. Take a minute and answer this question:
What is God teaching you through this season of COVID-19?
Have your group share these lessons with the group and encourage one another with them. End your session by praying for these lessons and that God would continue to allow us to see Him in the difficulties we face.
Here are a few reminders:
We are Online Only through July 26th: Due to continuously rising cases of COVID-19 in our area, we are going to be online only through at least July 26th. You can join us at our new service times of 9:00am, 10:30am, and 5:00pm by going to www.bayarea.church/live, our Bay Area Church Facebook page, or on YouTube by searching Bay Area Church.
Church on Your Street: One of the ways we can serve others is by loving those closest to us…on our street! Don’t forget to go to www.bayarea.church/live and click on the “Church on Your Street” icon. Participate in this effort and then take some time to share stories of how God is using you as you love your neighbors.
Reading Plan: Encourage your group to participate in the Psalms Bible reading plan that is posted at www.bayarea.church/live. Also, join us Monday – Friday at 12:00pm on our Facebook page for a live devotion and prayer time with one of our staff.
SCRIPTURES FROM THIS WEEK’S MESSAGE:
- 1 Peter 3:8-22, Matthew 5:10-11, Luke 12:4-7, Luke 12:11-12
NEXT WEEK’S MESSAGE: Trust and Obey: Week 5 (1 Peter 4:1-11)