Transforming Ordinary People into Extraordinary Followers of Christ

1 Peter – 1 Peter 3:13-17 – When Bad Things Happen to Good People

1 Peter – 1 Peter 3:13-17 – 9 of 18


Jesus once said that “in this world you will have tribulation,” and we all know that to be true. The fact that suffering exists doesn’t trouble us until we are the ones suffering, and it is especially troubling when we feel our suffering is unjustified. While we know that one day God will make all things right, how are we to deal with injustices in our lives? How can we keep pressing on when life doesn’t seem fair? 

Our response to unfairness is greatly influenced by our perspective, or the lens through which we view life. We either have a human perspective—one that seeks retribution when it perceives unequal treatment; or a divine perspective—one that yields its rights to the Lord and trusts in Him to work all things together for good (Romans 8:28). 

1 Peter 3:13-17 offers five-fold advice that will enable us to live in an unfair, inequitable world, and leads with a general rule that if you live a clean and honest life, you usually won’t suffer for it. 

[1] When suffering, consider yourself to be blessed by God. When you patiently endure unfair treatment, you are fulfilling God’s purpose and plan for your life. It is understandably difficult to remain joyful when you are going through pain, but it’s important to remember that one day you will be rewarded for your endurance of these undeserved trials. 

[2] Don’t panic or worry as it does nothing but undermine your trust in the Lord. God is aware of your struggle and He is your defense. He has your back. 

[3] Acknowledge that Jesus is Lord over this situation. He is glorified in the midst of your trial. He is sovereign and is allowing this trial for reasons that are all His, even if it does not make sense to you. 

[4] Be ready to defend your faith when the opportunity arises. Crisis often presents a platform for gospel witness, especially when your actions match your talk. This is especially true if #5 is in place, so… 

[5] Be a person of integrity. Your integrity is both your greatest defense against unjust criticism and the greatest evidence that there is a God in heaven who is powerfully working in your life. 

We should not be surprised when we are overlooked or persecuted by the world. It is a natural part of walking in opposition to culture and standing for Jesus Christ, but we can take heart, because we know that He has already overcome the world. And through Him alone, so can we. 


  • When you patiently endure unfair treatment, you are blessed. You are fulfilling God’s purpose and plan, and soon you will be rewarded for your endurance. Don’t panic or worry. Acknowledge that Jesus is Lord over this situation.
  • Be a person of integrity (it’s both your best defense against unjust criticism, and the greatest evidence that God in heaven is powerfully at work in you.)
  • Be ready to defend your faith as the opportunity arises. In a few concise statements, what would you share with someone who asks you about your beliefs? Finally, fashion your brief statements into an articulate paragraph that feels natural to speak – and practice saying it until you’re comfortable.


Each week, write down one doable concrete step of obedience, small or large, that you will put into practice this week. (James 1:22: “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.”)

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