Ok – lets pick up in 1 Peter where Peter is actually quoting from Psalm 34:12-16.
1 Peter 3: 8-12
Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, becourteous;[a] 9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For
“ He who would love life
And see good days,
Let him refrain his tongue from evil,
And his lips from speaking deceit.
11 Let him turn away from evil and do good;
Let him seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their prayers;
But the face of the LORD is against those who do evil.”[
In verse 12 the analogy that Peter is using reminds us that God knows EVERYTHING about believers, especially our suffering and that He does hear and respond to our cries for help. In the first passages of this verse Peter is asserting by quoting from the Psalm 34 that refusing to retaliate against abuse will result in God’s blessings. Doing evil does not result in a blessing in this life or the next.
13 And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.”15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. 17 For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
Not everything in this world is as it should be. Even when we do God’s will and what is right and good, we may have to suffer for “righteousness sake”. We need to make sure that we suffer for it only because we have served God faithfully and not that we have done anything wrong.
you are blessed-God has a special honor for those who suffer for doing what is right.
But sanctify the Lord-That is that we are to realize and know the eternal holiness of Christ. And that He is ultimately in control of everything.
Always be ready to give a defense-Peter assumed that the Christian faith would be falsely accused- it was in the early days of the church and it still is today. We need to have logical and rational answers to respond to the false accusations. If someone challenged your faith- could you give an answer? If someone asked you why you are a Christian , could you explain it to them? It is very important that we now how to answer and defend our faith in Christ.
with meekness and fear;- Meekness is in no way indicative of weakness- both Moses and Jesus were called meek and they were certainly not weak men! We are to give our defense in a gentle manner- which is what the word meek actually means, gentle. A gentle approach is always the best approach. Fear in this sense indicates a high degree of reverence or respect.
7 For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
Peter is not saying that we should seek out situations which will bring suffering, what he is saying that when we do suffer it should the result of being faithful to God not because we have done anything wrong.
if it is the will of God,- Suffering may be the part if God’s perfect and wise plan for the believer.
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We will finish up 1 Peter 3 next time ! Until then May God richly bless you!