Note: Anticipating that social distancing may be necessary, this Bible Study can be adapted for a variety of settings. Whether you live alone or with others, be creative with ways to read and reflect on scripture with people intergenerationally in a broader community. Consider how a Bible verse, a question, an insight, or illustration can be a bridge to spiritual conversations.


First Peter is a short, powerful and challenging letter of HOPE in suffering. In just five chapters, Peter refers to “suffering” at least 15 times. Peter takes a firehose to our typical reactions to suffering like fear, doubt, defending, or fighting back. Then he pours the waters of Baptism with Jesus all over the letter. Baptism saves (3:21) because it connects us to the Savior. Peter pours water over a wishy-washy Christianity (2:2). He challenges us to be stewards of our baptismal grace, especially in suffering (4:16-17). Repeatedly, he splashes hope over us with a resurrection view and eternal perspective on suffering (1:3-6). This “living” Hope is refined in suffering. In these “last days” we carry our baptismal water around as God’s stewards doing good because we know, “our Hope for years to come!”

Checking In
  • How was Holy Week and Easter Sunday different for you?


  • Having some time to reflect after Easter: What did you hear, see, learn, or receive as a blessing from God in unexpected places?



Word:   Read the Bible verses and reflect on the following questions.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.  1Peter 1:3-9


  • Give examples of ways where the word, “HOPE” is used everyday conversations.


  • How is the word, “HOPE” used in the context of the Bible reading above?
    Questions to consider in your thinking…


  • Find and discuss as many words or phrases that you find in the passage which add meaning and insight into a Christian understanding of HOPE.


  • How is HOPE used differently here from some of our everyday conversations?



St. Paul’s Lutheran (Des Peres) H.I.S. Puppeteers have produced a video puppet show to compliment this study. Enjoy!  

The girl in the video shared a “different kind of hope,” and specially described what that means to her. Later in his letter, Peter encourages you to think about and prepare your own response, “to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you” (3:15).

The next questions ask you to think through a response in your own words. Let everyone try out a sentence or two. Help one another.
Encourage children to participate. It’s also an opportunity to practice online with friends or on social media.


  •  In a sentence or two describe your “living Hope”?


  • Briefly share a memory where your faith in Jesus was tested and strengthened through suffering.



Prayer Journal

It can be helpful to keep a prayer journal during these days of “sheltering in place.” Writing down requests, prayers and promises of the Bible will help you see God at work in the testing of your faith.  

With our prayers for one another we can bring our griefs, our sins and our concerns for others before our “living Hope” and under the “shield of God’s power.” Throughout the letter, Peter shows hope is more than a feeling. Hope is living, real and indestructible. Hope is a gift from God. Prayer cries out to our living hope (Jesus).

Take time to pray with and pray for another person. This is a time where we need community. Praying in front of another person can be uncomfortable, but we have an opportunity while we “shelter in place” to be intentional and to get comfortable praying with other people. Whether as a family or calling a friend, you can do this!

You might begin an invitation to pray like this,


  • “How can I pray for you?”


Then listen, take some notes, and finally speak a simple prayer. You don’t need answers to the problem in your prayer. You don’t need to pray a sermon. In fact, the simpler you pray, the more likely you will help someone else pray too. Here’s a very short way to pray over the phone or at the kitchen table.

“Jesus, I pray for {name}. I know You heard us talking about {the concern} just now. We believe You are our hope. Please help.”


Household Activity

Yes, hope is more than a feeling! But Peter also shows that suffering is more than a feeling. Suffering does not need to be passive. With Jesus, suffering is active. It embraces a living hope (Jesus) and honors Him by doing good. Where we put our hope is tested by how we respond to suffering.

We have an opportunity to honor Jesus by “doing good” during this time of suffering for so many.


  • How have you been blessed by someone reaching out to you in these extraordinary days? (e.g. with a phone call, a card, a gift at the doorstep, the service of a “essential worker.”)


  • Identify one person or household you can show generosity to this week.
    • What specifically will you do to appropriately and safely bless them?
    • How can you share your “living hope” with them through this activity?
    • How can all the members of your household share a part in this activity?
    • When will you do it?



Take turns using verses 8 and 9 to bless one another. An example of how you can modify it to be a blessing might go like this:

{Name} Jesus is your Hope!

Though you have not seen Him, may you love Him.

Though you do not now see Him, may you believe in Him and rejoice.

May your joy be filled with glory.

May the Father, Son and Holy Spirit bless you with the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your soul!