February 16, 2016
Suffering and the Calling of Christians
As we continue the Hope Is Here series through 1 Peter, Pastor Yogi brings us to 1 Peter 3:8-16. This passage raises the issue of suffering, a common theme throughout Peter’s letter. We often ask the question, “If God is good, then why is there suffering in the world?” Or if you’re a Christian, you may be tempted to ask why God would allow trials and hardships into your life after you’ve committed your life to him. As Yogi said in his message, though suffering is never pleasant, it can be an opportunity.
In order to take advantage of the opportunity suffering may provide, we need to both understand and live out our calling. Peter gives five traits of believers who are living out their calling. They are 1) like-minded, 2) sympathetic, 3) loving one another, 4) compassionate, and 5) humble. Peter wants Christians to understand that they are blessed, even though the circumstances they are currently dealing with might not indicate that.
The opportunity that suffering provides is to put hope on display. In the face of hardship, or even persecution, we are called to demonstrate the hope that we have in the resurrection of Jesus. Peter gives his readers five truths to remember in difficult times:
1. Who can hurt you if you are doing what is right? (v. 13)
2. Even if you suffer for doing right, you are blessed. (v. 14)
3. Keep your focus – revere Christ! (v. 15a)
4. Be prepared to put hope on display. (v. 15b)
5. A right reaction to undeserved suffering can silence the mockers. (v. 16)