Good News for Hard Times, Week 4


Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Key verse: I Peter 1:6 NLT So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even

though you must endure many trials for a little while.

Last week, talked about our testimony, our relationships and our prayer life. All are

critical if we are to see God’s plan for our lives fulfilled. We must remain faithful

regardless of what we might be experiencing. We must be sure the world is seeing

righteousness on display as we go through seasons of suffering.

Today, we will look at I Peter 3:12-4:6

Reality #4: ___________________________________________________________

• In moments of suffering, we can experience moments of ________________________

• Stand strong anyway

Response #4: ________________________________________________________

• You never need to doubt the promises of God

• When God says nothing is difficult for Him, believe it!

Be encouraged: ______________________________________________________

I Peter 3:13-17 NLT Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But

even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be

afraid of their threats. 15 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if

someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. 16 But do

this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak

against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you

belong to Christ. 17 Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God

wants, than to suffer for doing wrong!

• Holy living results in ___________________________________________________

• Holy living only comes from _____________________________________________

• Find strength in ______________________________________________________

1 John 1:9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us

our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

Be encouraged: _____________________________________________________

I Peter 3:18-22 NLT Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but

he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he

was raised to life in the Spirit. 19 So he went and preached to the spirits in

prison— 20 those who disobeyed God long ago when God waited patiently while Noah

was building his boat. Only eight people were saved from drowning in that terrible flood.

21 And that water is a picture of baptism, which now saves you, not by removing dirt from

your body, but as a response to God from a clean conscience. It is effective because of

the resurrection of Jesus Christ.22 Now Christ has gone to heaven. He is seated in the

place of honor next to God, and all the angels and authorities and powers accept his


This is theologically tricky and there are good people on all sides of this topic

about who these “spirits in prison” are that Jesus preached to in this passage.

But REGARDLESS of the various positions (e.g. Did Jesus go to hell during his

death for 3 days and preach while he was there? Did Jesus go to “paradise”

along with the thief on the cross during these 3 days but was allowed to travel to

hell and proclaim their efforts to stop him didn’t work? Did Jesus go to Paradise

during the 3 days of death and stay in heaven…but after He rose again, he was

on the earth for 40 days, but he appeared/reappeared, and during the times he

was not around, he was permitted to transport to hell to proclaim that their efforts

did not work? Or, some say “prison” is really meaning he simply came to earth

and preached/proclaimed the Good News to all human beings who were “in

prison” in their sins & needed salvation?… REGARDLESS, here is what

everyone agrees upon: Jesus proclaimed that HIS WAY was DOMINANT and

unable to be stopped…and that reality is to be PROCLAIMED!


• God promises to protect you ___________________________________

• His protection ________________________________________________

• You can run to him for _________________________________________

Hebrews 4:14-16 So then, since we have a great High Priest who has

entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we

believe. 15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he

faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. 16 So let us come

boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy,

and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

Be encouraged: _______________________________________________________

I Peter 4:1-6 NLT So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm

yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have

suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin. 2 You won’t spend the rest of

your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God.3 You

have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy—their

immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible

worship of idols. 4 Of course, your former friends are surprised when you no longer

plunge into the flood of wild and destructive things they do. So they slander you. 5 But

remember that they will have to face God, who stands ready to judge everyone, both

the living and the dead. 6 That is why the Good News was preached to those who are

now dead—so although they were destined to die like all people, they now live forever

with God in the Spirit.

• Our past is not _____________________________________________________

• We have received __________________________________________________

• The hope we need is found in the _____________________________________

If you are suffering today, don’t forget this very encouraging we just read a few minutes


I Peter 3:16 NLT But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience

clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a

good life you live because you belong to Christ.