1 Peter 4:12-19
How do we accept suffering and face it head on in a culture that does everything it can to avoid pain? There will be things in our lives that happen to us as believers that we’d classify as unfair, but we should have a posture of being ready to face them for the sake of Christ.
Peter gives us Christ as the ultimate example of lowering ourselves on behalf of others. When everything in us wants to climb the ladder, Jesus sends us the opposite way.
(I Peter 2:21-24, I Peter 3:18-22, Prov 18:2, Prov 15:32, Prov 19:27, James 1:19, Philemon 1:7-20, Phil 2:3-8, Heb 4:15, Matt 20:26-28, James 4:6)
We live in a broken and unfair world, where race, gender, and economic oppression are everyday headlines. As exiles, how do followers of Jesus live inside that brokenness? (I Peter 2:13-3:12, Gal 3:26-28, Jn 18:36, Matt 4:23, John 3:3, Matt 20:16, Rev 11:15b, Acts 5:29, Philemon 1:7-21)
In one swift move Peter connects our identity to our actions. Being named as God’s sons and daughters gives us a beautiful motive, and that motive helps turn our eyes toward Him and away from sin. We were not made to love dead things. (I Peter 1:13-2:3, Lev 11:44-45, Matt 5:48, James 2:17, John 16:8, Rom 12:2, Eph 4:29-31, Matt 18:21-35)
For exiles, trials are an expectation. Peter paints these painful moments to be temporary in light of eternity, but that doesn’t ease the sting of them in the moment. A sovereign God can use these in many ways. James 1:2-4 speaks of perseverance and steadfastness (as does Rom 5:3-4). Rom 8:28 promises God’s use of them. I Cor 10:12-13 tells us that God won’t allow us to be tempted beyond our breaking point. 2 Cor 12:9 shows that God’s grace props us up. Heb 11 is a list of those who have remained faithful against impossible odds, and in Heb 12 we’re then encouraged to let that great “crowd of witnesses” push us on toward the finish line. Lord, raise our eyes.
For those who have accepted Christ’s incredible invitation, our home address has changed. Peter begins his letter with two crucial things that every exile must remember. (I Peter 1:1-5, Rev 2:17b, Mark 10:17-23, 2 Cor 5:17)