Build Day 5 Building Faith: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Today is 2-for-1 Friday!
Check out Building Faith!

The Questions

1) What mindset is Peter dismantling with his statement in verse 12?

2) What is the secret to discovering God’s joy in suffering? (verses 13-14)

3) What conclusive comfort does Peter offer those who suffer “according to God’s will”? (verse 19)

1 Peter 4:12-19

Dear friends, don’t be surprised when the fiery ordeal comes among you to test you, as if something unusual were happening to you. 13 Instead, rejoice as you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may also rejoice with great joy when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are ridiculed for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 Let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or a meddler. 16 But if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed but let him glorify God in having that name. 17 For the time has come for judgment to begin with God’s household, and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who disobey the gospel of God?

18 And if a righteous person is saved with difficulty,
what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?

19 So then, let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust themselves to a faithful Creator while doing what is good.

Original Intent

1) What mindset is Peter dismantling with his statement in verse 12?
Peter, one of Christ’s closest disciples while He was on earth, wrote two letters through the power of the Holy Spirit within him that are preserved in what we know as the Bible. These two short letters were written to believers in Jesus who had been scattered abroad as a result of persecution for their faith. (1 Peter 1:1-2) Suffering was the context for Peter’s words, but hope was his purpose. Peter knew exactly what it felt like to watch your hope die for he had witnessed His Lord be taken away, brutally tortured, cruelly crucified, and hastily buried in a borrowed tomb. The One who had claimed to be the Light of the world had breathed his last. All Peter’s hopes and dreams died when Jesus was buried lifeless in the grave. But God… When Christ’s lungs once more breathed and the dead became the living, a new kind of hope was birthed in Peter, “a living Hope.” (1 Peter 1:3) Christ’s resurrection ensured Peter’s life, and future sacrifices for God, were absolutely guaranteed to be worth it. Christ had conquered death, fear, and all forms of hopelessness. *Written by Rebecca Adams

2) What is the secret to discovering God’s joy in suffering? (verses 13-14)
Hebrews 12 has this heading: The Call to Endurance. What are we called to endure? Suffering. Peter tells us to do more than endure, he instructs us to rejoice in the suffering. Peter was addressing people who were persecuted by the Roman Empire for following Jesus. So it seems counterintuitive to tell them to rejoice, but there was someone who set the example of rejoicing in suffering before Peter penned these words. Hebrews 12:2 says of Jesus, “For the joy that lay before Him, He endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Notice the words endure and joy? David Guzik explains, “Jesus did not regard the cross itself as a joy. But He could look past the horror of the cross to enjoy the joy beyond it. The same mentality will enable these Jewish Christians (and we ourselves) to endure.” When we suffer well, we become more Christlike and we are being prepared for glory. Chuck Smith says, “so rejoice that we were able to suffer with Him that we might reign with Him.” For those suffering slander and ridicule because of Christ, Peter says they are blessed because the same Spirit who rested on Jesus, now rests on them. Jesus was slandered and spoken ill of throughout His ministry. Likewise, so were His disciples and anyone who followed Him. How was Peter encouraging the early believers through these words? The ESV Study Bible teaches, “To be insulted because one belongs to Christ is to be blessed by God, because in such times the Spirit of glory, the Holy Spirit, rests upon believers in an especially powerful way.” How wonderful to know that in such a hard situation, you are being especially blessed by God! *Written by Marietta Taylor

3) What conclusive comfort does Peter offer those who suffer “according to God’s will”? (verse 19)
You can suffer as a consequence of your own actions. (verse 15) You can suffer just because the world is a sinful, broken place and bad things happen. You can also suffer because you are a committed follower of Jesus intent on obeying Him from a heart of love. (verse 16) It is this suffering Peter refers to in verse 19. We can endure through suffering for Jesus, and we can be comforted in the struggle, by clinging to the unshakeable truth that our faithful God will carry us and see us through. He is a trustworthy place to anchor our souls and our lives both for eternity and in this moment, whether easy or tumultuous. Matthew Henry puts it this way, “Good people, when they are in affliction, have great encouragement to commit their souls to God, because He is their Creator, and faithful in all His promises.” Keeping in context with Peter’s place in history, what is one promise these early Christians would have known as it came from the Old Testament Law? “The Lord will not leave you nor abandon you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6) Reminding them of foundational truth was imperative in the face of intense persecution. There is real hope, His name is Jesus! *Written by Marietta Taylor

Everyday Application

1) What mindset is Peter dismantling with his statement in verse 12?
Because Christ was victorious, having died to bring life to all who trusted Him, His victory became our own. (2 Timothy 1:10) However, before the crown of glory (1 Peter 5:4), first comes suffering. (Romans 8:17) Believers suffer now in a world ruled by Satan’s reign of Sin and Suffering, but one day, we will see our Victor face to face and our sufferings will not even be worth comparing to the glory of that day. (Romans 8:18). Peter understood the common, but wrong, belief that to side with the Victor now, meant worldly victory now. This was, after all, what Peter himself had expected before Jesus’ death and resurrection. He confessed Jesus as the long-awaited, prophesied Messiah, but he wrongly assumed it meant Jesus had come to set up a geo-political reign in the here and now. Peter imagined himself serving alongside Jesus as Israel finally became the world’s most powerful and influential nation. Their enemies would cease to exist. Peace would come. Surely, this was Christ’s intended mission. All these ideologies were sabotaged for Peter when Christ died. If the King would suffer, then it surely made sense for His followers to also suffer. Peter’s idea of victory radically shifted to see far beyond the temporal into the eternal. This is the thrust of Peter’s teaching, “Dear friends, don’t be surprised when the fiery ordeal comes among you to test you, as if something unusual were happening to you.” (verse 12) Where is your suffering, Sister? Where has following Jesus brought struggle when it would be so easy to reject Christ’s teaching and follow your own way? Take heart! Christ has overcome the world. Our victory is sure and following Him is worth everything! *Written by Rebecca Adams

2) What is the secret to discovering God’s joy in suffering? (verses 13-14)
I don’t think many people enjoy suffering for our faith and experiencing struggles because we embrace the gospel. It’s nicer to enjoy the pleasant parts of following Jesus, but this is just one side of the coin. Consider Jesus’ ministry of healing the sick, casting out demons, granting forgiveness, and radically changing lives. These are all pleasant and wonderful things, but Christ was also ridiculed, lied about, and ultimately betrayed by one who walked closely with Him throughout His ministry. Put simply, Jesus suffered so we could gain eternity with Him. Who are we to think we shouldn’t share in suffering? In fact, Jesus told us clearly, “Remember the word I spoke to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” (John 15:20) When someone surrenders their life to Jesus, they learn that part of the life-long journey of following Jesus is becoming more Christ-like and growing closer to the Lord. Suffering is the tool God uses to make us more Christlike, so we can find joy in knowing our suffering will not be wasted. I love the way Don Stewart describes “the joy of suffering”. He says, “Suffering will be here as long as we live in these bodies. It is something we will have to live with. However, if there were no suffering in life, then we would not appreciate the blessings that come with the deliverance we experience from the suffering.” The secret is not to have joy because of the suffering but to have joy because God will do something great in us through the suffering. *Written by Marietta Taylor

3) What conclusive comfort does Peter offer those who suffer “according to God’s will”? (verse 19)
Not long ago, I reasoned that unless I was suffering for literally preaching the gospel, or perhaps smuggling Bibles into closed countries, or sacrificing home life pleasures for ministry related trials, I wasn’t “suffering for Christ”. Suffering? Yes. For Christ? No. How could I claim this honor when other brothers and sisters in Jesus were putting their lives at risk?! God’s living word spoken through Peter’s pen arrested my attention as I studied this passage. To understand how one suffers “according to God’s will” (verse 19), we must first follow Peter’s thoughts on what isn’t suffering for Christ. Backing up to verses 14-16, we get a clear picture of Peter’s intended definition. I’m not quoting it, so you might as well go back and read it for yourself. I’ll wait! Did you catch it when Peter listed four examples of sin? Remember what they were? These are just four of thousands of possibilities of sin, but Peter’s point remains, when we choose sin, we aren’t following Christ. Whatever suffering happens as a result of our sinful choices, isn’t a suffering that brings God glory. However, when we suffer for obeying God, we can most assuredly trust ourselves “to a faithful Creator” while we keep on persistently “doing what is right.” (verse 19) When Nehemiah chose to persevere in the face of mockery, his suffering was used to glorify God. When we surrender to the Spirit and choose discerning, gentle responses over angry, self-righteous reactions as Nehemiah modeled, we are bringing God glory. This is the suffering God will not only honor, but will also redeem, for even greater glory. Lean in, Sister. I know the suffering is long and we beg for mercy, but the Lord hears. (Psalm 13) He will faithfully redeem! *Written by Rebecca Adams

What do YOU think?! Share Here!
Missing the connection to our other Journey Study today?
Catch up with Building Faith!

Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

Digging Deeper Community

Share What You’ve Learned!
Pray Together!
Join us in the GT Facebook Community!

Our Current Study Theme!

This is Build Week One!
Don’t miss out on the discussion!
Sign up
to receive every GT Journey Study!

Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

Memorize It!

Download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!
Tap and hold on your mobile device to save.