Friday, March 11, 2011

How My Suffering Can Bring Hope to Others (1 Peter)

Who is someone you know that has endured a great deal of suffering? What did you learn about them by watching them suffer? What did you learn about life by watching them suffer?

Have you ever suffered as a result of your own mistakes? What did you learn?

What are the different reasons you think people suffer in the world today? Do you think all suffering is the result of sin? Why or why not?

Read 1 Peter 3:13-18. Which verse or statement do you most like in this passage? Are there any parts of this passage that confuse or trouble you?

What are some ways someone might suffer for doing what is right? Talk about a time you were afraid to do the right thing because you thought you might suffer.

What do you think it means to make Christ "Lord of Your Life" or to "set apart Christ as Lord?" Can someone be a Christian and not have Christ as Lord of their life? Why or why not?

What is the "hope" that Christians have? Verse 15 says that we should always be ready to explain why we have this hope. If someone asked you why you have a hopeful outlook on life, what would you say?

Why do you think Peter told them to give this answer in a gentle and respectful way?

How often do you think a Christian should be telling others about their hope? Do you think most Christians do this often enough? Why or why not? Do you think a fear of suffering ever keeps Christians from doing this?

How does Christ's suffering compare to the way we suffer in life? How should this motivate or change us? What does it mean that Christ's sufferings were to "bring us to God"?

If Christ suffered to bring us to God, how should we live? How can we use our suffering to bring others to God?

What are you going to do about this in the coming days?

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