Last week, I read through the book of 1 Peter. It was incredibly relevant to what I am experiencing in life right now, and I made some notes on verses that stood out to me as I was reading.

1 Peter 1
:3 We have a living hope and inheritance – everything is not done. It doesn’t stop at salvation, yet neither is it necessary to wait until we die to experience this hope.
:7 Trials are not something to run from, but they refine our faith – if it is genuine (rooted in God), it will remain and result in “praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” This is the GOAL OF OUR FAITH. The one we have faith in will be glorified so we may enjoy His glory more.
:8-9 Faith in Christ requires trust, patience, perseverance, and a determination to focus on the “inexpressible and glorious” joy He provides. even when it looks like things are falling apart around me, I can be filled with joy in knowing that God is working out (has worked out) my salvation.
:13 I think the emphasis on our thoughts/mindsets/attitudes in this verse is interesting (and will later be seen in the rest of the book). “Prepare your minds for action, be self-controlled, set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.” It isn’t enough to simply try to act, or hope somehow we will act out the right ting. We need to plan ahead, think out the best course. We are to set our hope fully, which requires conscious, deliberate thought/attitude.
The verse immediately following says not to conform to our “evil desires.” These involve our thoughts, our inner selves. Not conforming can only be done through a choice to be “obedient children” to God. So our thoughts matter in that they help us take action and obey Christ.
:15 “Be holy in all you do” sounds like a tall order. But it shows God’s interest in all areas of our lives, not just a neat little section labeled “Sundays.” He doesn’t want us to just not do a few little rules then call it good, He wants us to involve Him in all we do. All our actions should be holy, done for His glory.
:17 We should live with a single focus and that should be God, not the world or ourselves. We should remember God as a Judge as well as our Father, and give Him the reverence He deserves. But the verse immediately following describes the sacrifice He made to redeem us from His judgment. So He is more caring than simply a judge, but because of that love and sacrifice, we have a greater obligation to fear God.
:22 Obeying the truth purifies us and enables us to love sincerely. Without God’s love, we could not show love to others, but because of it, we can and are expected to love others. This is the second time obedience is mentioned in this chapter.

1 Peter 2
:2-3 The emphasis is on growing once we’ve been saved, not merely staying in the same place spiritually. We are to continually taste more of the Lord’s goodness.
:9 We are chosen, made royal and holy by God so we “may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” We are not simply to sit on our Treasure – we are to get out and declare it, grow to know and love God more.
:11 The term “wage war” here implies that our sinful desires (1 Pet.1:14) are not passive. They are warring against us. We must be mentally prepared for their attacks.
:12 We should be living so that others see God in us and are won over without words. Our actions bring God glory, which is why we are to be holy and blameless, yet our thoughts must also be holy and blameless, or we cannot act that way.
:15 It is God’s will that we do good and silence the talk of “foolish men.” Interesting that such importance is given to our actions without words. Our actions are so important that they can actually silence others’ words!
:18-21 I had never viewed this book as dealing with suffering before, but suffering is one of the key themes of this book. These verses, along with the ones in the first chapter, differentiate between sufferings. There is suffering as a consequence for sin. And there is suffering for righteousness. Everywhere in the world, there is suffering. We suffer, we know others who suffer; some have even said there is “irredeemable suffering” in the world, that is, too much suffering to ever be redeemed.
But 1 Peter says otherwise. Christ, our ultimate example, suffered. But not for anything He had done wrong. He suffered for others’ sins. This was “commendable before God.” And we are considered blessed if we also are chosen to suffer for doing right. Most of us suffer for doing wrong. Or merely from the consequences of Adam and Eve’s original sin. Most of us complain about this. But how many of us are willing to suffer for others? Or for God? For nothing we have done wrong? Lord, work on my heart. Strengthen me to gladly choose You over my comfort. Although suffering is ugly, at first it seems that nothing good can come from any of it, God can work it for good. It can become a way to please Him because when we suffer, we are showing how much more we value Him and than our own comfort, and therefore we bring Him glory.
:23 Along with the idea of suffering, the idea of no retaliation is very difficult for me. It is definitely not my first nature. I too often speak without thinking. This is yet another verse demonstrating the idea that actions speak louder than words. I think the second half of this verse is key. Because Jesus “entrusted himself to him who judges justly,” he was able to focus on God and not his enemies, his sufferings, or himself. He had no fear, and the desire for retaliation stems from fear, I think.

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