1Peter 3:12 through 4:6
12) For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open untotheir prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
13) And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?
14) But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;
15) But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
16) Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conersation in Christ.
17) For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.
18) For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
19) By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
20) Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
21) the like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the puting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answering of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
22) Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.
1) FORASMUCH then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
2) That he no longer shoud live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
3) For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:
4) Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:
5) Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.
6) For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
An elderly, deaf man was knocked down in the street by a cart and horse. The accident severly injured his head. As he was lying in the street, he moaned, "Why did this happen?" Those who were standing nearby picked him up, and as they did so, his eyes grew big, and he cried out, "I can hear you speaking." His hearing had been restored by the sharp blow he recieved to his head.
There are times when Christians are dull of hearing, and they need the sharp blows of adversity to bring them to the place of dependence upon the Lord. However, suffering does not come only to those who are out of fellowship with the Lord. There are other reasons why Christians experience suffering.
Peter's readers needed the encouragement the apostle could offer because of his personal experience. He had been persecuted, and he had been an eyewitness to the abuse heaped upon his Savior. Such is the background of this message to suffering saints.
- this is the introduction to chapter 5 "Suffering Saints" in the adult study book "Strong Faith for Rough Times" by William G. Bellshaw1978, revised in 1986
" In my opinion, the great single need of the moment is that light-hearted superficial religionists be struck down with a vision of God high and lifted up, with His train filling the temple. The holy art of worship seems to have passed away like the Shekinah glory from the tabernacle. As a result, we are left to our own devices and forced to make up the lack of spontaneous worship by ...bringing in countless cheap and tawdry activities to hold the attention of the church people." ~ A.W. Tozer