1 Peter 1:6-9 Thought Questions

1.    Why is Peter’s description of believers surprising?  Are there are other passages of Scripture where you see the same paradox?  Think Paul.  How would the typical unbeliever respond to Peter’s statement and why?  Can you think of examples from church history of individuals who lived what Peter says out?  Do you believe it is possible for you to rejoice in the middle of suffering?
2.    What were some of the trials these believers were experiencing?  How do people normally respond in the middle of trials like these?  Yet, what kind of joy is Peter describing these people as experiencing?  What words does he use to describe it?  Do you experience this kind of joy in your lives?  Are you right now experiencing this kind of joy in your life?  Why might this kind of joy be so important?
3.    How does the fact that trials are for a little while encourage us?  Is this usually how we look at our trials?   Are there any other passages of Scripture where the author encourages us to stand strong in trials using a similar line of reasoning?  Sometimes when we are suffering we lose perspective and feel like all God is giving us is suffering and we forget the ocean of mercy that He has and is going to pour out on us.  When we consider suffering by itself, it might seem very great, but we need to consider our suffering in comparison with our eternal future.  As Martin Luther once put it, “The sea of God’s mercies should swallow up our particular afflictions.”  How have you experienced this working out in your own life?
4.    What does the phrase if necessary tell us about trials?  What are some other passages of Scripture that say this?  How does the way the writer of Scripture talk about suffering for righteousness compare to the way many professing believers think about it?  What can happen if we don’t expect to suffer for righteousness sake?
5.    What do you think about the following quote?  Do you agree or disagree?  How does it apply to us here at Grace Fellowship?  “We have, I fear, domesticated the concept of godliness into such inoffensive middle class morality and law-keeping that 2 Timothy 3:12 has become unintelligible to us. I think many of us are not prepared to suffer for the gospel. Finishing the Great Commission is going to cost some of us our lives – as it already has and as it always has.  We talk so much about closed countries today that we have almost totally lost God’s perspective on missions—as though he ever meant it to be easy and safe. There are no closed countries to those who assume that persecution, imprisonment, and death are the likely results of spreading the gospel. And Jesus said plainly that they are likely results. “They will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death; and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake” (Matthew 24:9). “If they persecuted me they will persecute you” (John 15:20). Until we recover God’s perspective on suffering and the spread of the gospel, we will not rejoice in the triumphs of grace that he plans.”
6.     What do trials do with our faith?  What other passages talk about this process and what do they add to what Peter says here?  Why does this cause us to rejoice?  Why is genuine faith so valuable?  Why is it more valuable than any other commodity you might have in this world?  Do you believe that?  Are you living like that is true?
7.    How should this passage of Scripture change you?  What does it teach about where joy and contentment really come from?  How are you presently failing to believe this passage of Scripture?   How might your life look different if you really did believe this passage?

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