Start Up

During this series we will look at the book of 1st Peter, which is written to a group of Christ-followers who were experiencing a lot of difficulty, suffering, and discouragement because of their faith. In this book, Peter invites us to learn what it means to allow Jesus to elevate our lives to a whole new way of thinking and living in the middle of difficulty, and how to resist the constant pull of this world that tries to keep us down.

  • Which of the following ways have you played or would you play with real gravity? Share with the group:
    • Bungee Jumping
    • Skydiving
    • Riding in a hot air balloon
    • Hang-gliding
    • Parasailing
  • Describe a time where you felt like (or really were) a foreigner. Where were you – was it when you went to a different country, moved to a new city, or began a new job? How did being a foreigner change everyday life for you?
  • What one thing stood out to you from Jeff’s message? Share with the group.

 


 

Discuss Together

Peter writes this book to “chosen aliens.” He lets Christ-followers know that they are citizens of heaven, which means they are foreigners on this planet and strangers in a strange land. Being strangers in a strange land means living with a different perspective, which Peter shares as he opens his book. Read together 1 Peter 1:1-12.

  • What are some words or phrases that stand out to you in this passage? Why does this resonate with you?
  • In what way does the Trinity show up in this passage? What roles do you see each person in the Trinity playing?
  • What does it mean that God the Father has chosen us? Do you feel like you’ve been chosen by God? Why or why not?
  • What does it mean to be sanctified? Can suffering help us become more sanctified? Have you experienced this personally?
  • Has there ever been a time where you’ve felt angry or abandoned by God? When and why? How might this passage help you when you feel that way?

 

Take Away

  • Imagine a hurting friend came to talk to you because he or she has recently experienced something hard – a tragedy, death of a loved one, an illness, or some other form of personal suffering. They say to you, “I can’t believe in a God who would allow this to happen to me.” What would you say to him or her? Have you ever asked these questions?
  • Jeff shared in his message a few “perspective clicks” – shifts in our thinking and reminders to help us during difficult times. Which of the ones he mentioned (listed below) connected with you the most? Share why with the group.
    • When we feel abandoned by God, remember that we are chosen.
    • When we feel like we are getting a raw deal, remember that we have been graced beyond belief.
    • When you are wondering if God is good, look to the cross and not this week’s crisis.
    • When we feel like our suffering is random or meaningless, God will always make it purposeful.
    • When we feel like God is absent and silent, remember that God’s silence does not signify His absence.
    • In our suffering we must remember that God doesn’t promise answers but he does promise his comforting presence.
  • How does the cross help you understand and deal with suffering?
  • Is there a place you are experiencing suffering and difficulty in right now? Share with the group. Take a few moments to listen to one another and pray for one another.