Dr. Zach Crook

In the book of First Peter, Peter challenges the church to live with hope in a world that often seems hopeless. Peter reminds us that our hope is a person – Jesus – and our hope is certain in Him. He challenges us to be holy, to be set apart, and to be different in a society that is often anti-Gospel and opposed to our worldview.

Hope Through How We Treat Others

In 1 Peter 3:8-22, Peter continues challenging us to live hope-filled lives in a hopeless world. Peter’s challenge is to be different from the world because we live for Christ. Therefore, it is essential to be like-minded and sympathetic, loving one another and caring for each other. These behaviors result in unity within the church, but this does not mean uniformity. We are all different people from various backgrounds and places, but we gather together under the banner of the gospel and King Jesus, which unites us. Peter’s teaching on how to live in a foreign land also stresses the significance of loving others both inside and outside the church. Many people don’t know Jesus and are feeling utterly hopeless. The hope you have was meant to be shared because God is with them and offers the same hope to them.

Hope Through How We Respond to Trials

To stand out and become different in a good way, we must not act like the world. As a church, we should not live according to the world’s standards or respond to evil with evil. If we don’t treat others with respect and love and don’t pursue peace, God may not want to hear our prayers. Instead, we are called to be peacemakers and bring peace to chaos. Every person on earth was created in God’s image and deserves love and respect. According to him, the one who wants to love life and see good days should keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceitfully. He advises us to turn away from evil and do what is good, seek peace, and pursue it. This brings to mind Psalm 34’s message of “taste and see that the Lord is good,” which Peter believes can be achieved by living hope-filled lives and walking through adversity differently. What do we have to lose? Even if we suffer for righteousness, we are blessed. 

Hope Through How We Share our Faith

So, Peter wants us to regard Christ as holy and be ready to defend the hope that is in us. Peter quotes Isaiah and encourages us not to fear what the world fears. He encourages us to be ready to share our faith and to trust in God, the only one we should fear and hold in special reverence. He says there will be situations where we may lose hope, but if we remain hopeful, we must be ready to share the reason for our hope with others. If we genuinely believe that the power of Jesus can conquer darkness, evil, and sin, then we will always have hope, no matter how grim one moment feels. When people notice that even wars, natural disasters, illness, or suffering can’t steal our joy, they will want to know how we stay grounded. We can confidently say the answer is Jesus. We must be ready to share the hope we have in Christ because people will notice if we are walking with hope during difficult times. We win people, not arguments when we share the gospel with gentleness and respect.

Hope Through Where we Place our Identity

In our society, the common message is to find our identity, meaning, and worth within ourselves, but the Bible teaches us that we find these things in Christ. The gospel does not promise a comfortable life but a hope-filled life and the certainty of eternity with God. Peter reminds us that Christ suffered for our sins to bring us to God, and understanding this should change how we live. When we understand what Christ did for us, it transforms how we live our lives. As a result, we live with hope and see Christ as our example, who suffered to save us. 

Next Steps:

If you’ve never accepted Jesus as your savior, you can do that today. You can have hope no matter your situation by proclaiming the power of his death and resurrection. If we do not put our faith in Jesus, we will face judgment, and the flood of God’s wrath will come upon us. Therefore, we are encouraged and urged to turn to Him, trust Him, and look to Him for salvation. If you have not yet decided to trust in Christ, the Bible tells us that this is the way to be saved. Peter also mentions baptism as a way to proclaim your identity in Christ. The act of baptism itself does not save us. Instead, it is a symbolic picture that we trust in Christ’s finished work on the cross, are saved from eternal destruction, and place our entire identity in Him. Through believer’s baptism, we publicly proclaim our trust in Him. If you’ve grown up in the church and accepted Christ as your savior, this is a natural next step in your faith. 

Peter’s teachings are still relevant to us today, challenging us to live hope-filled lives in a world that can be bleak and discouraging. As we seek to be different in a good way, we can make a difference in the world around us by bringing hope and peace to those who are hurting. We can trust in the certain hope we have in Christ, sharing that hope with others and living with the confidence that our lives have meaning and purpose. Each of us should examine our life, ensuring we’re ready to share the reason for our hope and living in a way that points others to Christ. As Peter quotes from Psalm 34, we must taste and see that the Lord is good, and as ambassadors and witnesses for Christ, we must point others to Him. Let’s implore, challenge, and encourage them to come and experience the goodness of the Lord. So, what can we do this week to live a life of hope and point others to Jesus?